Property agents, sellers and lawyer among 10 to be charged in S$11.4m housing loan scam

Property agents, sellers and lawyer among 10 to be charged in S$11.4m housing loan scam

Singapore currency
(File Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Ten people - including property agents, sellers and a lawyer - will be charged in court on Tuesday (Dec 3) for their alleged involvement in a housing loan cashback scam involving S$11.4 million.

Investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department unravelled a scheme where the suspects reportedly inflated the selling price of three properties and forged income documents, tricking one bank into disbursing about S$8.52 million in loans.

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Explaining the scheme, the police said in a news release on Monday that the facilitators of the scam would arrange with the sellers and their agents to buy their property at a certain price.

Bank loan applications were then made using an inflated figure.

Upon completion of the sale, the sellers would return to the facilitators any money they received in excess of the fixed price.

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The facilitators also recruited nominee buyers and submitted forged income documents to the banks to get the loans, police said.

The ploy was uncovered when the nominee buyers defaulted on the loans, said the police. The bank then sold the three properties at a loss of more than S$2.9 million.

Three facilitators will be charged with cheating and forgery offences. One of them will also face seven other charges relating to criminal breach of trust.

The two nominee buyers will each be charged with cheating.

Any suspect found guilty of cheating may be jailed up to 10 years and fined. The sentence for criminal breach of trust is up to 15 years' jail and a fine.

A conviction for forgery offences could land suspects in jail for up to four years or a fine, or both.

Two property sellers will be charged with fraudulently executing a deed of transfer, while their agents will be charged with conspiring with them in the fraud. If found guilty, they may be jailed for up to three years or fined, or both

The conveyancing lawyer will be charged with falsely certifying the correctness of an instrument. A conviction will entail a fine not exceeding S$25,000.

Source: CNA/jt

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