Serial cheat gets jail for string of scams, including those involving Singtel, Mediacorp

Serial cheat gets jail for string of scams, including those involving Singtel, Mediacorp

gavel file 2
A courtroom gavel. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: A young serial scammer who perpetuated his schemes in numerous guises including posing as a Mediacorp employee was sentenced to jail for one year and two months on Friday (Feb 8).

Ronny Lee Jia Jie, 21, pleaded guilty to 20 cheating charges, with another 61 charges taken into consideration.

The court heard that he had cheated multiple victims of about S$43,000 between December 2014 and April 2018, committing the latest crimes while court proceedings for his earlier ones were ongoing.

Lee began cheating others - including his own former schoolmate - from when he was 17.

He pulled off a variety of scams, including deceiving a courier company into giving him preferential credit terms and not paying for their services; selling goods on Carousell which he did not deliver; applying for phones from Singtel's online shop using NRIC numbers he filched from a community centre event; and getting investors to give him cash for a fake investment company.

He pulled off the Singtel scam by obtaining a list of people who attended a brisk walking event organised by Nee Soon East Community Centre in 2014.

The list contained the names and NRIC numbers of the attendees, which Lee used to apply for mobile lines on Singtel's website.

He selected the expensive mobile plans in order to get a bundled mobile phone cheaply or for free. 

He got the phones delivered to a location he selected, and received a total of 28 mobile phones worth about S$30,000. He would have received more, but cancelled 21 applications as he "felt guilty", the prosecutor said.

Twelve of the phones, worth about S$13,000, were recovered and returned to Singtel, but the rest were either sold to second-hand dealers and on Carousell, given away, or lost.

HE RETURNED TO CHEATING WHILE ON BAIL

While on bail for these offences, Lee posed as a Mediacorp employee and managed to get a printing company deliver 50 custom T-shirts for a fan club of Mediacorp actor Calvert Tay on credit.

Lee did not pay the company the S$668.75 for the shirts, but sold them at an event for the fan club members at S$12 each.

The printing company lodged a police report in March 2018 after efforts to obtain payment failed.

It was also around this time that Lee cheated an online beauty product seller, getting her to deliver more than S$5,000 worth of toiletries to him without payment.

He then ordered another S$15,546 worth of products from the seller, including six cartons of shampoo, five cartons of hair masks, five cartons of hair essential oil, six cartons of shower gel, two cartons of cleanser, four cartons of facial mask, one carton of collagen eye cream, one carton of face cream and 10 cartons of bird nest collagen jelly.

The seller accepted his order, but Lee had ordered too many products, so he did not manage to get them before the seller discovered that she had been cheated.

For each cheating charge, Lee could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined. 

Source: CNA/ll

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