Man charged with cheating duo of more than $1.6m in timeshare recovery fraud

SINGAPORE - A man allegedly deceived two people into believing they would receive payouts if they made payments for various administrative and legal fees in relation to their timeshare agreements.

The duo purportedly paid but did not get anything in return.

Murlidharan Muhundan, 45, was on Thursday (May 19) charged in court with cheating Ms Ooi Phaik Cheng and Mr Marimuthu Therumalai of more than $1.6 million in a timeshare recovery fraud.

He faces 21 charges of cheating, two charges of abetting cheating and another two charges of attempted cheating.

According to court documents, Murlidharan deceived Ms Ooi on 13 occasions into believing that "Bhagyam Agencies Bangalore" would provide a payout for her timeshare agreement.

She was duped into paying Murlidharan sums ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 between July 2020 and January last year.

Murlidharan also allegedly deceived Mr Marimuthu on 12 occasions, including making him believe that he had to pay a fine of $250,000 for taking photos at an office in Collyer Quay in November last year.

Mr Marimuthu was also deceived into paying between $20,000 and $150,000 to Murlidharan between July and November last year to receive payouts from his timeshare agreement.

Those convicted of any of these offences face an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine.

On Thursday, the police urged members of the public to be vigilant when receiving unsolicited calls from companies or individuals purporting to help them recover monies from their timeshare memberships.

Individuals are advised to be wary when someone calls them regarding their timeshare membership. They should refrain from providing any personal information or details on their timeshare membership to the caller.

They are also urged to conduct background checks on the company's track record before engaging its services and request a copy of the documentation on its proposals, representations, contracts and agreements.

The police also advised the public to be wary if the company is reluctant to provide documentation. They should check with the timeshare developer if the company had dealt with the former in the recovery of timeshare membership fees, and exercise extra caution if asked to make upfront payments.

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