Law Society to probe lawyer misconduct at JLC Advisors over missing $33 million

A missing sum of about $33 million in an escrow account belonging to Allied Technologies and held by law firm JLC Advisors is believed to have been paid out on the instructions of its managing partner Jeffrey Ong, who has been uncontactable. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - The Law Society on Friday (May 24) said it will conduct its own investigative audit on the client accounts of law firm JLC Advisors, where $33 million belonging to engineering firm Allied Technologies has gone missing. It has also seized control of all monies held by JLC, including those being held on behalf of its clients or third parties.

Meanwhile, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX Reg), which had ordered the Catalist-listed Allied Technologies to undergo a special audit to look at why it had placed its funds with JLC, said the audit will be expanded to include developments surrounding the $33 million and the progress in trying to get the money back.

SGX Reg also said the special auditor will report solely to the regulator.

The moves were announced in a joint statement by the Law Society and SGX Reg on Friday.

In carrying out this audit, the Law Society will inquire into all the facts and circumstances surrounding the operation of JLC's client accounts, and the role played by JLC managing partner Jeffrey Ong. The probe is expected to decide whether any disciplinary action should be take against against Mr Ong, who has been uncontactable.

"Given these developments, SGX Reg will object to any future appointment of Ong as a director or executive officer of any SGX-listed company until SGX Reg is satisfied that the above-mentioned matters have been satisfactorily resolved," the statement said.

The outcome of the special audit will be made public and SGX Reg will update the market on possible further actions.

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