Former Barclays and DBS employees, Manulife insurers banned for fraud and dishonest conduct

Former Barclays and DBS employees, Manulife insurers banned for fraud and dishonest conduct

View of Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) building in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Two former bank employees from Barclays and DBS as well as two former insurance agents from Manulife Financial Advisers have been issued prohibition orders for fraudulent and dishonest conduct, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Friday (May 8).

They have all been convicted for offences such as forgery, cheating, unauthorised use of Internet banking security token and concealment of benefits from criminal conduct.

"MAS has taken action to exclude all four individuals from the financial industry, as they have abused the trust of their customers or employers for personal gain," said Ms Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director for policy, payments and financial crime at MAS.

"We will not hesitate to impose prohibition orders of significant duration where the misconduct is particularly serious," she said. 

Former Barclays banker Kale Jagdish Purushottam - who is serving a 13-year jail term for his offences - was handed the longest prohibition order of 25 years for cheating his clients of about US$10 million (S$14.1 million).

Purushottam, a former representative of Barclays Bank in Singapore, had forged signatures and banking documents between May 2010 and January 2013 to deceive Barclays into transferring about US$10 million from three clients' accounts to a third party for his debt payments. 

He then made more illegal fund transfers from and raised unauthorised loans in the accounts of nine other clients to cover up the shortfalls in the previous accounts, and also to pay his debts.

READ: 6 men convicted for fraud, dishonest conduct given bans from working in financial industry: MAS

When he was questioned by his clients about the unauthorised transactions, Purushottam forged documents to convince them that the transactions had been entered an error and since been reversed. 

He also engaged in several unauthorised stock and foreign exchange trades in an attempt to generate profit and reduce the loans and shortfalls in his clients' accounts. 

These trades caused further losses of at least US$10 million to Barclays Bank.

Purushottam was convicted of forgery and cheating and of offences under the Computer Misuse Act, and sentenced last year to 13 years' jail.

READ: Jail for DBS employee who cheated elderly bank customers of more than S$200,000

TEN-YEAR PROHIBITION ORDER FOR FORMER DBS, STANCHART BANKER

Liaw Tick Kwan, a former representative of DBS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) was handed a prohibition order of 10 years.

Liaw had applied for Internet banking facilities for his client, who then entrusted him with the security token and login details.

Without his client's permission, Liaw accessed the bank account between September 2013 and May 2014 to make several outward transfers. He also made unauthorised transfers to a second client's bank account and convinced said client to transfer the money to him.

He also deceived the first client into signing a blank cheque in March 2015, which he claimed was payment for a management fee.

Liaw made off with nearly S$200,000 as a result of his criminal conduct, which he used for his personal investments and expenses. 

He was convicted for cheating, unauthorised use of his client's Internet banking security token as well as concealing the benefits of criminal conduct, and sentenced last year to 46 months' imprisonment.

TWO FORMER MANULIFE INSURANCERS CONSPIRED WITH CHIROPRACTOR

Two former insurance agents from Manulife Financial Advisors who had conspired with a chiropractor to cheat Manulife were handed a six-year prohibition order each.

Mike Chew Jun Yong and Priscilla Tien Ling conspired with the chiropractor in order to grow their respective insurance and chiropractic businesses, said MAS.

The chiropractor would refer patients from his clinic to Chew and Tien, who would then sell Manulife personal accident policies to them.

Although Chew and Tien knew the policies did not cover the patients' pre-existing medical conditions, the two facilitated claims for the cost of the patients' chiropractic treatments by falsely stating that their clients had only sustained injuries and sought treatment after the policies had came into effect. 

Chew and Tien deceived Manulife into disbursing payments of S$1,750 and $3,700, respectively. 

Chew was sentenced to six months' jail while Tien was sentenced to eight months imprisonment last year for cheating.

Source: CNA/lk

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