Two months' jail for man who furnished forged court document showing boss' fines had been paid

SINGAPORE - To support his false claim that fines in relation to two charges against his employer had been paid, Chua Chee Siang furnished a fraudulent document that appeared to contain the logo of the State Courts.

On Tuesday, the 42-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to two months' jail. He had earlier been found guilty of a charge of using as genuine a forged document.

At the time of the offence, Chua was employed by A-Tec Motorz's director Heng Cheng Hock, and his responsibilities at the company included handling its administrative matters.

According to court documents, Mr Heng was charged on Feb 26, 2019, in his capacity as director, with two counts under the Road Traffic Act. The case was adjourned for further mention on March 5, 2019.

Mr Heng directed Chua to handle the matter and to ensure that the fines in relation to the charges were paid.

Some time between April 28 and May 28, 2019, Chua gave Mr Heng a document that was dated April 16, 2019, and which stated that the court fine of $300 had been paid.

The document also contained the logo of the State Courts, a payment reference number and a case number.

In her submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Melina Chew said the evidence that showed Chua knew the document was false included the fact that there was no court mention for Mr Heng that day.

She said Chua's claim that he went to court on April 16, 2019, to plead guilty on behalf of Mr Heng and pay the fine is a deliberate lie.

She added that Chua did go to court that day, but it was for his own case with the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The DPP said it was undisputed that Chua's purpose of handing the document over to Mr Heng was to support his claim that he had paid the fine and that it would, in turn, allow Mr Heng to justify the same claim to the court.

But she added that it was unclear why he lied to his employer.

"For exact reasons that would remain known only to the accused, the accused decided to lie to (Mr Heng) and tell him that his LTA case had been settled, when in fact it was not," said DPP Chew.

Mr Heng attended court for his charges on May 28, 2019, and produced the forged document. As discrepancies were noted in it, the matter was adjourned so that it could be investigated.

A police report was lodged on behalf of the Registrar of the State Courts on June 10, 2019, stating that the State Courts had reason to believe that the document bearing its logo was forged.

At the pre-trial conference on July 3, 2019, on the application of the LTA, Mr Heng was granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal for his charges.

The prosecution had asked Chua to be sentenced to three months' jail, saying he showed a lack of remorse, which was seen through the "fanciful defence which he weaved" that the forged document was given to him by an officer of the State Courts.

For using as genuine a forged document, Chua could have been jailed for up to four years, fined or both.

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