Ex-insurance agent who identified himself as 'Lord Voldemort' jailed for threatening clients

SINGAPORE - Identifying himself as fictional characters such as "Lord Voldemort", a disgruntled insurance agent sent anonymous threatening messages to some of his clients after they cancelled policies they had bought from him.

Myanmar national Ye Lin Myint, 36, who had worked for Prudential, was also unhappy as several others had failed to turn up for their scheduled appointments.

On Tuesday (Jan 29), District Judge Marvin Bay said the Singapore permanent resident's offences showed a "remarkable degree of planning" before sentencing him to two years and five months' jail.

Ye Lin Myint pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal intimidation and eight harassment charges.

Thirty other charges for similar offences were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that he targeted 33 people in all, including his former clients and their neighbours.

He sent them threatening letters and e-mails from August to September 2017.

A search on the General Insurance Association Of Singapore's website did not reveal any information about him.

In July 2017, he used his wife's laptop and went on a portal called Protonmail to create e-mail accounts under the names "Lord Voldemort" - boy wizard Harry Potter's nemesis - and "Dr Bruce Banner", the name of comic character The Incredible Hulk's alter ego.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran said that with Protonmail, netizens do not need to key in their personal information to create e-mail accounts on the platform.

He added that Protonmail also does not keep any IP logs which can be linked to the e-mail accounts.

These measures allowed Ye Lin Myint to remain anonymous when he sent out the e-mails, the court heard.

He also created a bitcoin wallet which he linked to the Lord Voldemort account so that he could receive and transfer the cryptocurrency.

The DPP told Judge Bay: "After he created the Protonmail accounts, the accused also created letters and e-mails that were addressed to his clients, which threatened that harm would befall his clients and their families if one bitcoin was not transferred to the accused's bitcoin wallet.

"He signed off the letters and e-mails with the pseudonym Lord Voldemort."

At the time of the offences, one bitcoin was equivalent to about $6,600.

He later decided to harass his victims' neighbours to exert additional pressure on them.

On Tuesday, Judge Bay said: "The letters that were addressed to the neighbours of his clients were extremely threatening in nature. "They threatened to harass their units if they did not 'urge' his clients to pay Mr Ye what he had asked for.

"Mr Ye's actions led to the Singapore Police Force and a Member of Parliament for Nee Soon, Madam Lee Bee Wah, issuing online advisories to advise recipients of these letters not to respond to them."

His victims alerted the police and officers arrested him after they conducted an extensive investigation.

The Straits Times understands that none of his victims transferred bitcoins to him.

He is out on bail of $15,000 and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Feb 15 to begin serving his sentence.