Former NUS professor and ex-research fellow charged with forgery and cheating

Tan Kok Kiong's (left) case has been adjourned to Mar 4 while Thomas Teh Kok Hiong's case will be mentioned again on Feb 25. PHOTOS: ST FILE, MTI

SINGAPORE - Two men, a former professor and a former research fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS), appeared in a district court on Thursday (Jan 28) for allegedly submitting bogus claims to the institution totalling more than $140,000.

Both cases were unrelated and the two Singaporeans were charged with forgery and cheating.

Tan Kok Kiong, 53, who was a professor at NUS' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was charged with 32 counts of forgery and five counts of cheating while Thomas Teh Kok Hiong, 41, who was a research fellow at the university's Department of Biomedical Engineering, faced 22 counts of cheating and five counts of forgery.

In a statement, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said that Tan allegedly submitted fraudulent claims totalling more than $100,000 to NUS between 2012 and 2019.

The CPIB added: "He is alleged to have generated fictitious invoices for the purported purchase of products and services and submitted claims that were either inflated or for expenses that were unrelated to his research grant.

"By doing so, he is alleged to have cheated NUS' approving officers into disbursing those sums of money to him."

Teh allegedly submitted more than $41,000 in bogus claims to NUS between 2010 and 2018.

The CPIB said: "These included purchases falsely claimed for work-related use, as well as travel expenses he was not entitled to claim.

"In some instances, he allegedly altered receipts or invoices to support his fraudulent claims. By doing so, he is alleged to have cheated NUS' approving officers."

Tan's case has been adjourned to March 4 while Teh's case will be mentioned again on February 25.

On Thursday, NUS told The Straits Times that it takes a "strong stand" against any form of staff misconduct.

An NUS spokesman said: "The two individuals are no longer employed by the university. We are unable to comment further as the case is now before the courts."

For each count of cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined. Anyone convicted of forgery faces a similar sentence.

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