SINGAPORE: Former grassroots volunteer Reichie Chng has been slapped with more than 150 charges for various cheating and forgery offences involving more than S$1.4 million, according to court documents on Monday (Sep 11).
He is also accused of using the name of Sembawang GRC's Member of Parliament Ong Ye Kung with the intent to commit fraud. Mr Ong is also the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence.
Chng, who turned 51 on Monday, allegedly made a false electronic record on Aug 31 last year by capturing a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation that purportedly took place between him and Mr Ong. The conversation was about an investment scheme that the minister was said to be participating in.
Chng allegedly created the record with the intention of deceiving others into believing that Mr Ong had made it.
The grassroots volunteer is also accused of cheating a dozen people of between S$2,000 and S$250,000, in a period from Nov 24, 2012 to Mar 19, 2017. In some cases, he deceived them into investing in a legal moneylending business which he knew to be false.
According to court documents, Chng is now accused of 94 counts of committing forgery for the purpose of cheating, 35 counts of cheating, 22 counts of converting the benefits of his criminal conduct, and one count of obtaining a personal loan when he was an undischarged bankrupt.
Chng was a bankrupt between Aug 26, 1994, and Jul 3, 2015. Despite that, he allegedly obtained a personal loan of S$50,000 on Sep 12, 2013, without disclosing to the person that he was an undischarged bankrupt.
In a statement to the media, Mr Ong said he made a police report on Mar 22.
"When I discovered that he has been using my wife's and my name, and forging SMSes purportedly from me to borrow and solicit money, I reported the matter to the police immediately," said Mr Ong.
"This is a shocking and unconscionable act - he must now face the full consequences of the law," he added.
If convicted of cheating and forgery for the purpose of cheating, Chng can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.