Man jailed, fined for part in e-mail scam

He allowed syndicate to use his company's bank account to receive ill-gotten funds

Wanting to earn fast cash, a full-time national serviceman who also owned a repair company allowed con artists to deposit more than $440,000 of their ill-gotten gains into his firm's bank account.

Nicholas Ryan Khoo was promised a commission based on the amounts he received, the court heard.

Khoo, 23, who served with the Singapore Civil Defence Force, was jailed for 15 months and fined $3,000 yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of being involved in illegal gambling activities.

Khoo's two accomplices, former platoon mate Rausyan Sajjad Mohamad Rafie, 24, and Rausyan's sister, Shaqilah Mohamad Rafie, 25, were dealt with earlier.

The siblings were each jailed for 16 months in January after admitting to two charges each of abetment by conspiracy with Khoo to receive a total of $441,545 in a bank account belonging to his firm, known as Khoo Repairs.

Yesterday, District Judge Marvin Bay said Shaqilah had been living in Kuala Lumpur with her Nigerian boyfriend, David Adewale Oladokun, who was part of a syndicate based in the Malaysian capital.

The Barbados-based firm stated that it had been duped by spoofed e-mails into wiring a total of $441,545 from its bank account into one belonging to Khoo Repairs.

Mr Adewale had told his girlfriend that his syndicate committed offences, including extortion as well as love and wire scams.

Judge Bay added: "Mr Adewale told Ms Shaqilah that the syndicate needed a bank account to receive money derived from scams and tried to persuade Ms Shaqilah to set up a Singapore company bank account to receive the money."

When Shaqilah returned to Singapore in 2015, she told Rausyan about her boyfriend and the syndicate. She asked if he had any friends with company bank accounts who were interested in earning commissions by helping the criminals. Rausyan approached Khoo, who agreed to be part of the plan.

While Khoo was promised a 5 per cent commission, the siblings were told that they would each earn 2.5 per cent. On March 4, 2016, $234,770 was transferred to Khoo Repairs' bank account, and it received another $206,775 four days later.

The offences came to light on March 12 that year when Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department received a complaint from a company known as Faith Universal Investments. The Barbados-based firm stated that it had been duped by spoofed e-mails into wiring a total of $441,545 from its bank account into one belonging to Khoo Repairs.

Khoo has also admitted to acting as a dealer in an illegal game of Texas poker in a unit at Odeon Katong Shopping Complex in East Coast Road on Dec 22, 2016.

Court documents did not state if Mr Adewale has been dealt with in court.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2018, with the headline 'Man jailed, fined for part in e-mail scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe