Man jailed 14 months for cheating offences

Ronny Lee Jia Jie was awaiting his sentence when another victim made a police report against him.
Ronny Lee Jia Jie was awaiting his sentence when another victim made a police report against him.

A full-time national serviceman who admitted in court last year to multiple counts of cheating involving more than $30,000 was awaiting his sentence when another victim lodged a report against him.

Ronny Lee Jia Jie, 21, who has since completed his national service and is now working as a check-in agent for travellers, first pleaded guilty on April 12 last year to 16 counts of cheating.

He had admitted cheating his victims, including telco Singtel, between December 2014 and May 2017.

About a month later, Ms Evelyn Li Shuxian, 30, who sells toiletries online, alerted the police after Lee cheated her of more than $5,000. He had also attempted to cheat her of more than $15,000.

Lee later pleaded guilty to three additional cheating charges and one count of attempted cheating. These four charges involved more than $20,000 and he was sentenced yesterday to 14 months' jail.

In November 2014, Lee volunteered at a brisk walking event held by Nee Soon East Community Centre, where he was given a list of participants and their NRIC numbers for attendance marking.

He used the list to make 49 mobile line applications on Singtel's website.

For each application, he would select the more expensive mobile plans, so he could obtain a bundled mobile phone for free or at heavily discounted prices.

Court documents show that Lee obtained at least three iPhone 6 Plus handsets for free under Singtel's most expensive monthly plan at the time.

He later cancelled 21 applications out of guilt before the phones were delivered but went through with the other applications and obtained 28 phones worth $30,152 in total.

He sold nine of them to secondhand dealers and on online marketplace Carousell for a total of about $7,000. Twelve of the unsold phones were recovered and returned to Singtel.

In March last year, Lee sent a message to Ms Li expressing his interest to be her "product distributor", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng Yuxi.

Lee later ordered from Ms Li more than $5,000 worth of products and duped her into thinking he had paid for them by showing her screenshots of purported bank transfers.

He also placed another order for $15,546 worth of toiletries and cosmetics last April, but these products were not delivered to him.

Ms Li alerted the police on May 13 last year after realising that Lee had not transferred any money to her bank account.

In November 2017, Lee had also pretended to be a Mediacorp representative and duped a printing company employee into delivering to him 50 T-shirts worth more than $600. However, he failed to pay for the products.

For each count of cheating, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2019, with the headline Man jailed 14 months for cheating offences. Subscribe