Russian man jailed four months for forging document to delay repaying $1.7m loan

SINGAPORE - To buy himself more time to repay $1.71 million he had borrowed from his friend in 2015, a Singapore permanent resident from Russia forged a document to show that he had sold his condominium unit and had money to pay her.

Dmitriy Shport, 54, forged an option to purchase (OTP) to cheat the victim into believing that he had sold his property on Dec 21 last year when in fact the sale was made on April 18, 2017.

He had used the $1.75 million he earned from the 2017 sale to pay off other debts and finance his company.

Shport was on Friday sentenced to four months' jail after he pleaded guilty to a charge of committing forgery for the purpose of cheating.

The court heard that in early 2015, the accused wanted to buy a private property in Singapore.

He approached his friend, Ms Irina Sergeva, whose age is not known, and she agreed to lend him $1.71 million.

According to the loan agreement, Shport was to pay her back by March 31, 2016, at an interest rate of 8 per cent per year.

On April 1, 2016, both parties agreed to extend the repayment date to Dec 31, 2018.

The accused, however, failed to make any payment to Ms Sergeva even at the end of 2021.

On Dec 21 last year, Shport deceived Ms Sergeva into believing that he had just sold the property that day and had money to pay her.

He did so to stop her from taking action against him for failing to repay the loan, the court heard.

To convince her of the legitimacy of the sale, he sent her screenshots of an OTP exercising the sale of the property for $2.4 million.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hidayat Amir said Shport had altered the dates in the original OTP for the condo unit's sale in 2017, and sent the falsified document to the victim.

Through her solicitors, the victim eventually found out that the sale took place in 2017 and she lodged a police report.

Shport was arrested on July 25 this year. He has not repaid his loan.

Seeking six to eight months' jail, DPP Hidayat said the accused had maintained the pretence that he owned the property for more than four years before committing the offence.

In mitigation, Shport said he accepted full responsibility for the foolish act. He said: "It was very difficult for me to reveal the truth to my friend and I want to rectify my wrongdoing."

For committing forgery for the purpose of cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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