Ex-bank executive admits to cheating seven people of nearly $2 million

SINGAPORE - A man who used to work in two banks - UOB and OCBC - admitted in a district court on Friday (April 9) to cheating seven people of nearly $2 million in total.

Han Delong, who is now in remand, duped them by either promoting fictitious fixed deposits or investment products purportedly issued by the banks.

The 34-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty to 27 charges involving more than $1.2 million in total. They include five counts of criminal breach of trust and seven of cheating.

Another 67 charges linked to the remaining amount will be considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor V. Jesudevan said: "By virtue of his positions at UOB and OCBC , the accused enjoyed a close relationship with his former clients cum victims to whom he offered his services."

The court heard that Han worked for UOB as a senior personal banker between August 2014 and December 2015.

He was then responsible for the sales and marketing of its wealth products such as unit trusts and structured deposits.

Between Feb 28 and Dec 7, 2015, he promoted fictitious fixed deposits purportedly issued by UOB to one of his victims and she entrusted him with cash totalling $95,000.

The DPP told the court that Han then misappropriated the funds.

He misappropriated the monies of three other victims through a similar method between July and October 2015, the court heard.

Han resigned from UOB in December 2015. Even though he was no longer its employee around Jan 15, 2016, he continued promoting to the first victim a fictitious fixed deposit purportedly offered by the bank. She was then duped into handing over another $20,000.

Subsequently, from March 2016 to January 2017, Han worked for OCBC as a premier relationship manager and was responsible for its wealth products.

He continued targeting his victims while working for OCBC and was dismissed after it discovered his attempt to defraud a customer. The matter was then reported to the police.

In 2019, the bank said: “We take a serious view of such matters and will not tolerate any employee’s breach of the bank’s code of conduct.”

UOB on Friday also said it had “zero tolerance” for any breach of the bank’s code of conduct by any employee.

“Employees who do not comply with the code face disciplinary action by the bank. Upon discovering Han Delong’s fraudulent actions, we alerted the police and he was arrested,” a spokesman told The Straits Times.

The court on Friday also heard about how Han dealt with some of his ill-gotten gains.

For instance, in February 2016, he transferred more than $100,000 to other bank accounts including one belonging to his brother. To date, Han has only made $275,000 in restitution.

He will be sentenced on May 21. An offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each count of cheating. Anyone convicted for criminal breach of trust can either be jailed for life or for up to 20 years and fined on each count.