Woman jailed for dealing with over $850k from scams

A casino croupier allowed bank accounts linked to her and her family members to receive more than $850,000 in criminal proceeds after she met a man on social networking platform Skout.

The police had earlier advised her to stop communicating with the man, known as William Banch, but she continued helping him.

The 48-year-old woman, who lost her job as a croupier during investigations, was sentenced on Wednesday to three years and four months in jail. The Singaporean pleaded guilty to three counts of dealing with the proceeds of criminal activities totalling nearly $230,000. Thirty-seven other charges involving the remaining amount were considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan Lim said that on March 3, 2015, Banch asked the woman to open a bank account. She did so on March 11 that year and gave him details such as the personal identification number.

The court heard that another woman was later duped into believing she had been sent a parcel containing money and gifts, and that "clearance fees" had to be paid to receive it. The woman deposited $2,000 into the croupier's account.

She alerted the police on March 26 that year. The croupier was called up about three months later to Ang Mo Kio Police Division headquarters, where an officer recorded her statement.

The DPP said the officer advised the croupier to stop contacting Banch, and to not allow him to use her bank account. Despite this, the croupier continued to help Banch in August 2015 and allowed over $855,000 to be deposited into three other bank accounts linked to her and her family members.

 
 

The money came from two other victims of cheating. A 52-year-old woman was duped in a parcel scam and made deposits totalling more than $250,000. The other victim was a 58-year-old woman who was duped into making 15 deposits totalling about $606,000.

Between Sept 5 and Nov 2, 2015, the croupier made withdrawals from the bank accounts and handed the cash over to other people as directed by Banch.

The court heard that he gave her $4,000, which she claimed were transport fees.

The DPP said: "Save for any claims against the monies frozen in the accounts, none of the monies transferred by the victims to the accused have been recovered."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2019, with the headline 'Woman jailed for dealing with over $850k from scams'. Print Edition | Subscribe