Jail for ex-UOB employee who misappropriated $200k from client

Yap Bin Chun was yesterday sentenced to three years and six months' jail after pleading guilty in January to four cheating charges and one count of forgery.
Yap Bin Chun was yesterday sentenced to three years and six months' jail after pleading guilty in January to four cheating charges and one count of forgery.

A United Overseas Bank (UOB) relationship manager misappropriated more than $200,000 from his client and cheated his then girlfriend of more than HK$100,000 (S$17,200) after leaving the company.

Yap Bin Chun, 38, who worked for the bank from 2009 to 2013, was yesterday sentenced to three years and six months' jail after pleading guilty in January to four cheating charges and one count of forgery.

He met his client, Mr Ng Hock Seng, 68, who is unable to read or write in English, in 2010.

Mr Ng, who used to run a minimart in Hougang, told Yap in 2011 that he wanted to use his savings for a low-risk investment.

Yap, facing financial difficulties, went to Mr Ng's home in September that year with a plan to misappropriate the Singaporean's money.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin said: "During this meeting, the accused also asked Ng to sign an application form for a UOB current account, as well as an application form for a UOB debit Visa card which was to be linked to the current account.

"The accused did not tell Ng what the forms were for. Although Ng did not understand the forms, he signed, as he was asked to."

Yap later wrote his own home address on the current account opening form without Mr Ng's knowledge. He also wrote the same address on the debit card application form, and the card was mailed to Yap's home on Sept 13, 2011.

Monies linked to Mr Ng's investment were later credited into the current account.

 

Between Oct 3 that year and March 20, 2012, Yap misappropriated more than $200,000 from the account by using the debit card.

The offences came to light only on Feb 24, 2016, when Mr Ng went to UOB to check on the status of his finances. He lodged a police report five days later.

The court also heard that Yap cheated Hong Konger Betty Pui Tai, 38, of more than HK$100,000.

Yap, who is married with three children, had duped Ms Pui into thinking he was single, and she became his girlfriend from October 2015. Yap, who met Ms Pui when he worked in Hong Kong after leaving UOB, had also told her about the case involving Mr Ng.

In December 2016, Yap, posing as his brother, sent her a message to say $20,000 was needed for his "bail". DPP Chin said this was untrue, as Yap was never in remand prison. Ms Pui transferred the money later that month. The relationship ended in June 2017 after she discovered his marital status.

UOB said in a statement that any employee who does not comply with its code of conduct faces disciplinary action.

Yap is out on bail of $55,000 and will surrender himself at the State Courts on April 26 to begin serving his sentence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'Jail for ex-UOB employee who misappropriated $200k from client'. Print Edition | Subscribe