Ex-MD of electronics manufacturing firm charged with cheating 5 banks of more than $10 million

SINGAPORE - The managing director of an electronics manufacturing company allegedly cheated five banks of more than $10 million between 2007 and 2011, a district court heard on Friday (Dec 20).

The alleged offender, So Seow Tiong, used to head SPE Technology (Singapore), and a search on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) website reveals that the company has since dissolved.

Its date of cessation was Jan 24, 2015.

According to Acra, he does not hold any current appointments.

However, So used to be a director at several firms including Executive Computer, Dinu Construction and Executive Office Automation.

The 60-year-old Singaporean has been charged with 75 counts of cheating involving Chang Hwa Commercial Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), United Overseas Bank, ABN Amro Bank and Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank).

Police said in a statement on Friday that So had allegedly instructed for the invoices of SPE Technology's supplier to be submitted to the five banks to support his company's requests to use their credit facilities.

Police also said that the purported supplier featured in all these invoices was a firm known as FSL Business Enterprise (Singapore).

"The prosecution is alleging that there were in fact no such transactions between the two companies."

"Over the four-year period, the banks disbursed over $3.7 million and US$4.7 million (S$6.3 million) to FSL Business Enterprise based on the invoices submitted to them. Those sums were subsequently transferred to SPE Technology."

So is accused of starting his cheating spree on March 27, 2007.

He allegedly duped OCBC into believing that SPE Technology was buying relay components from FSL Business Enterprise, as reflected in an invoice.

As a result, So is said to have dishonestly induced the bank to deliver more than US$100,000 to FSL Business Enterprise.

According to court documents, he allegedly committed similar offences involving OCBC and the other banks until January 2011.

Court documents did not state how his alleged offences came to light.

So was offered bail of $30,000 on Friday and will be back in court on Jan 17 next year.

If convicted of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.

So was not the first person charged with cheating multiple banks this month.

In an unrelated case, four other Singaporeans and a Russian were charged on Dec 13.

They are Andruew Tang You Liang, 30; Joel Sam Thomas, 35; Phee Sim Gek, 41; Seet Mei Siah, 62, and Vadim Koryagin, 51.

They allegedly cheated banks including DBS Bank and Maybank Singapore.

Their cases are still pending.

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