SINGAPORE: A man who cheated 18 people of more than S$10,000 by selling branded sporting goods advertised as genuine on Carousell was sentenced to eight months' jail on Thursday (Sep 12).
Jeric Lee Jia Zhen, 28, put up listings on online platform Carousell for Adidas and Nike goods including Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 Breds shoes and Adidas Ultraboost shoes.
The first victim was duped in July 2016 into buying four pairs of fake Adidas shoes from Lee, who used the username vapedope on Carousell.
Although the shoes were replicas from China, Lee cheated the victim into thinking they were genuine goods from the United States.
The victim paid S$2,350 to Lee but discovered the shoes were fakes when he took them home.
When he contacted Lee, Lee lied that he did not know they were fake and said he would try to get a refund from the supplier. He also gave several excuses for not refunding the amount to the victim.
After this, Lee continued cheating others, but without delivering any goods.
In total, he cheated the victims of S$10,780 over more than a year.
His victims paid hundreds of dollars to him expecting to receive branded goods including Bathing Ape pants for S$130, as well as Adidas Ultraboost Wood Wood and Nike Tom Sach Mars Yard 2.0 shoes for a total of S$2,000.
The police received several reports lodged against Lee between July 2016 and January 2018 for Lee's bank account and his mother's account, which he used.
He pleaded guilty on Thursday to four counts of cheating, with another 15 charges taken into consideration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor R Arvindren asked for at least nine months' jail, saying Lee was involved "in a pattern of conduct on an online platform to cheat many victims over a prolonged period".
"Furthermore, the amounts involved are not negligible. In total, the amount cheated adds up to S$10,780," he said.
"Given that online platforms have become a substantial source of shopping for many people in Singapore, it is regrettable that the accused has abused the platform, in our case Carousell, to cheat so many innocent victims."
Lee's lawyer Tok Boon Leong asked instead for seven months' jail, saying his client was remorseful and had made restitution of about S$5,000.
The lawyer also told the court that his client had a "medical issue" and was going for gender reassignment surgery.
District Judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong agreed with the prosecution that a deterrent sentence was required as the offences were premeditated and planned.
He granted the accused a deferment of his sentence to Oct 25, in order for him to complete his O-Level examinations as a private candidate.
The judge increased bail by S$5,000 to S$20,000 and granted Lee his deferment after confirming with his father that he was aware of the responsibilities of posting bail.
For each charge of cheating, Lee could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.