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Singapore

Former insurance agent gets jail for cheating primary school friend of S$24,900 with fake policy

Former insurance agent gets jail for cheating primary school friend of S$24,900 with fake policy

File photo of Singapore dollars. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A former insurance agent who cheated his primary school friend into paying him S$24,900 for a fake insurance policy and forged an AIA letter to trick her was given a year's jail on Tuesday (Aug 3).

Sng Kang Xiang, 37, had pleaded guilty in May to one count each of cheating and forgery, with another two charges considered in sentencing.

Sng knew the victim since they were in primary school together. He worked as a financial services consultant and insurance agent for AIA Singapore for about 11 years before committing the crimes.

Sng introduced an insurance policy to his friend in March 2018, claiming it entailed buying over an insurance policy from an existing policyholder.

Sng told the victim that she would have to pay S$24,900 for the policy, which she would have to hold for about a year. After a year, she would receive the base amount of S$24,900 back, as well as an additional US$4,000 (S$5,293).

As the victim had bought other policies from Sng and had a trusting relationship with him, she transferred S$24,900 to Sng's bank account.

The victim said she previously transferred funds directly to Sng's bank account, but that Sng would usually show her documents for the policy.

Investigations revealed that AIA's policy was for the client's money to be transferred directly to the company and not to Sng's bank account.

Sng used the money to pay for flat renovations and to settle his credit card bills. 

The victim began chasing Sng for documents to prove that the policy had been transferred to her name, and Sng forged a letter with AIA's letterhead stating that it had been transferred.

However, the victim was suspicious by this time and wanted to visit AIA's office to verify her policy transfer. When Sng caught wind of it, he tried to dissuade the victim, further arousing her suspicions.

The victim eventually visited AIA and confirmed that there was no such policy under her name. AIA lodged a police report in August 2018 and compensated the victim.

Sng subsequently made full restitution to AIA.

The prosecutor asked for a year's jail, saying this was an insurance scam and that there was public interest in deterring such scams.

The defence asked for eight months instead, saying Sng was a first-time offender and has made full restitution.

The judge agreed with the prosecution that public interest required that the sentences must address deterrence. He allowed Sng a deferment of his jail term for him to settle matters as he has just sold his house.

Source: CNA/ll

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