Jobless man jailed for cheating, criminal breach of trust

Sin Zhiwei was also accused of stealing $590 worth of items including a laptop on Jan 25.
Sin Zhiwei was also accused of stealing $590 worth of items including a laptop on Jan 25. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A jobless man was jailed for 10 months on Thursday (March 30) for cheating and criminal breach of trust.

Sin Zhiwei, now 35, was also accused of stealing $590 worth of items including a laptop on Jan 25. This theft charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.

On Nov 29, last year, he met the owner of a Tiong Bahru hotel bar after they had corresponded online.

Sin went to the bar and pretended to represent a man known as Joseph Lau from Hong Kong-based property company Chinese Estates Holdings.

After a discussion, the owner agreed to sell the bar to the firm for $140,000.

Sin then claimed that as Chinese Estates Holdings was a foreign company, the contract had to be signed between the owner and a local subsidiary.

The owner agreed and Sin duped him into signing the so-called contract on Dec 18, last year.

According to the contract, the $140,000 was supposed to be paid three days later but the court heard that no payment was made.

Despite this, the victim handed the bar over to Sin on Dec 22, last year.

The cheat then helped himself to cash and valuables worth $4,785.04 which had been kept at the watering hole.

They included its daily cash returns of $3,108.50 and two bottles of whiskey worth $370 in all. None of the stolen cash and items have been recovered.

The bar was closed for a week from Dec 24, last year. It was under Sin's management from Jan 1 until his arrest 25 days later. The victim retook possession of the bar on Jan 26.

Sin later admitted that he cheated the bar owner so that he could use daily takings from the bar for his personal expenses.

Besides this case, Sin also made off with cash totalling $1,528 when he was a part-time member of the front office staff at The Inn hotel at Temple Street in Chinatown on Dec 30, 2013.

The money was given by a guest as payment for two rooms and was supposed to be kept in a safe deposit box.

But Sin kept the cash.

He had made no restitution, the court heard.

A hotel manager found out about the loss and alerted the police on Jan 6, 2014.

For cheating, Sin could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.

And for criminal breach of trust, he could have been jailed up to 15 years and fined.