Jail for man who used forged payslips to get $165k in bank loans

A man who posed as an engineer and produced forged payslips to unlawfully obtain $165,000 in loans from two different banks was dealt with in court seven years after the plan was hatched.

Ng Leok Soon, 66, was jailed a year and seven months yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of being part of a conspiracy in 2012 to commit cheating. Court documents did not state why Ng, who was operating a coffee stall then, was dealt with only this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rebecca Wong said that in September 2012, Ng was heavily in debt and wanted to borrow a large amount of cash when he approached his friend Alvin Chua Yuen Shen, 46.

Mr Chua, who was at the time working as a customer acquisition officer for sales solutions firm eFusion Solutions, told Ng that he would get someone to secure bank loans for him. But in return, Ng would have to give the third party 20 per cent of the loan amount.

Ng agreed as he knew that he would not be able to obtain personal bank loans with his job at the time.

On Sept 17 that year, Ng met Mr Chua at his eFusion Solutions office, where the younger man gave him payslips purportedly from CGGVeritas Services Singapore, a provider of geophysical services and equipment. The fake payslips showed Ng earning about $20,000 a month.

Mr Chua then told his colleague, Mr Toh Hong Guan, 44, that he had a walk-in customer who wanted to apply for a loan from OCBC Bank.

Mr Toh looked at the payslips and told him he could receive a maximum loan of $82,000.

Mr Toh then filled up a loan application before passing it to Ng, so he could verify and sign it. OCBC received the application the next day and approved the loan. On Sept 21, 2012, Ng withdrew $81,000 in cash and handed $16,000 to Mr Chua.

Using a similar method, Ng duped HSBC into approving a loan for $83,000. A few days later, on Sept 24, he withdrew $60,000 in cash from HSBC and gave Mr Chua $16,000.

The offences came to light when an OCBC staff member conducted a check with CGGVeritas Services Singapore, now known as CGG Services Singapore, and discovered Ng was not working there. The police were notified on Oct 4 that year.

HSBC froze Ng's account and retained the balance of almost $23,000 of the personal loan when it discovered the fraud.

DPP Wong told District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt: "The accused used the monies he obtained from the loans to repay (loans from unlicensed moneylenders) and friends. He also used the money to buy an iPad for online betting."

Ng caused the two banks to lose $141,000 in total. To date, he has made no restitution and Mr Chua has not been dealt with in court.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2019, with the headline 'Jail for man who used forged payslips to get $165k in bank loans'. Print Edition | Subscribe