Single mother jailed over Citibank cheating case, 13th person to date

SINGAPORE - A single mother has become the thirteenth person to be handed a jail sentence for her role in a ruse that saw forged documents submitted to Citibank to secure loans.

Kiran Kaur, 29, was on Monday (Aug 29) sentenced to six months' jail for cheating.

The court heard that between September and October 2018, the consumer division of Citigroup received and approved about 20 loan applications that were later found to contain forged income documents.

Each loan involved between $12,000 and $24,000.

Kaur was jobless and facing financial difficulties when she responded to an advertisement in September 2018 for a "fast cash" job on online marketplace Carousell, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Dhiraj G. Chainani.

Through the ad, she contacted a man known only as "Charles" via messaging platform WhatsApp.

Charles, whose identity was not mentioned in court papers, told her he could help her obtain a loan from Citibank.

The DPP said: "The accused told Charles that she was not working at that time and did not have any Central Provident Fund contributions in order to apply for a bank loan.

"Charles told the accused not to worry and that the accused did not need to satisfy the requisite income level to qualify for a bank loan."

He got Kaur to divulge her Singpass login details and told her to meet an unidentified man outside a Citibank branch at MacDonald House in Orchard Road to collect a set of documents for the loan application.

She did as she was told and received documents that falsely stated she was working for another bank and earning $6,700 a month for July and August that year.

The court heard that Charles then told her to look for Citibank contract staff Kirk Chua Min Xuan, 29, at the branch.

Her loan application was submitted on Sept 10 and later approved.

In total, Kaur received $13,490 in cash, but she claimed she kept $4,000 and gave the rest to the man who gave her the forged documents.

Charles had instructed her to do this, she said.

On Oct 2 that year, a Citibank representative made a police report that the bank had approved loans based on falsified income documents.

Kaur was identified as one of the applicants.

Twelve other offenders linked to the ruse were dealt with in court earlier.

Chua's case is still pending. In an earlier statement, the bank said that he has not been working on Citibank-related matters since 2019.

The court heard that Kaur has since made restitution of $4,000.

Her bail was set at $10,000 on Monday and she was ordered to surrender herself at the State Courts on Sept 26 to begin serving her sentence.

For cheating, she could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.