Jail for ex-assistant manager linked to cheating scam that defrauded firm of over $10 million

SINGAPORE - A former assistant manager was linked to a ruse that defrauded a construction services company of more than $10 million and a district court heard that her role in it accounted for about half that total amount.

For her role in the scam, Ng Shu Jun, who worked in asset management at UE ServiceCorp Singapore - a subsidiary of United Engineers Limited (UEL) - received more than $100,000.

Ng, 30, was jailed for three years and nine months on Tuesday (Dec 4) after pleading guilty to five counts of engaging in a conspiracy to commit cheating.

Twelve other charges, mainly for similar offences, were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that in 2015, one of the two masterminds behind the ruse, Linda Lee, then an asset management vice-president at the firm, shared with Ng a plan to siphon money from UEL.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmin Kaur told the court Ng helped Lee to create fictitious quotations and job requests.

DPP Kaur said: "Linda would pass the accused the various letterheads of the companies involved for the accused to work on. Such jobs were not performed, but UEL was induced to make payment."

 
 

Court documents did not state how the crimes was uncovered but UEL terminated both women in June 2015.

Earlier reports in The Straits Times stated that Lee committed the offences between 2010 and 2015. They included setting up a firm in 2011 under the name of her unsuspecting father, Mr Lee Foo Wah.

She told him that LT Engineering Consultancy would be doing general works, when, in fact, her sole purpose for creating it was to siphon money from UEL.

Lee caused UEL to make payments to LT Engineering 25 times. She also used false quotations to get UEL to pay for her own home renovations.

On Tuesday, defence lawyer Goh Peck San told District Judge Kenneth Yap that Ng was not the main perpetrator of the fraud and that she had taken part in it at a much later stage.

The judge, however, said that she had played an essential role in the conspiracy.

Ng was the last person involved in the crime to be sent to jail. Lee and a second mastermind - renovation firm manager Tan Aik Gee from Ying Xin Services - were dealt with in court earlier.

Lee was 39 when she was sentenced to 14 years' jail last year. Her jail term was reduced to 12½ years in October this year following an appeal. Tan, 54, was sentenced to 11 years' jail and a fine of $900,000 last month.

Two other men linked to the case were also dealt with in court earlier this year. Freelance contractor Wong Weng Kong, 60, was sentenced to six years and three months' jail and a fine of $210,000 while Tan Kiam Boon was jailed for three months.