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Former OCBC financial consultant jailed for cheating clients of S$170,000 in fake time deposits

Former OCBC financial consultant jailed for cheating clients of S$170,000 in fake time deposits

File photo of a gavel. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A former financial consultant with OCBC Singapore was sentenced to 30 months' jail on Monday (Feb 21) for cheating five of his clients of S$170,000 in fake time deposits.

In sentencing Hoi Wei Kit, 34, the judge said Hoi had betrayed the trust placed in him by bank customers and abused the access given to him to the customers' banking information by virtue of his job.

The judge said what was worse was that Hoi had “carefully targeted vulnerable victims” who were not technologically savvy.

Hoi pleaded guilty last month to seven charges of cheating, acquiring benefits of criminal conduct and giving false information to a public servant. Another 13 charges were considered in sentencing.

He was a financial consultant at OCBC from October 2015 to April 2018, selling insurance and investment products to clients and opening bank accounts for them.

He came up with a scheme to defraud existing bank clients when he relapsed into his old gambling habit in September 2017 and amassed debts.

He targeted five of his existing clients who were not tech-savvy, including three who were aged 60 and above. He lied to them that they were eligible for a promotional time deposit with attractive interest rates of either 8.8 per cent or 11.88 per cent.

To avoid involving branch officers in his scheme and risk discovery, Hoi transferred his victims' funds to his colleagues before having them transferred to him or handed over in cash. He also lied to his colleagues about the reasons for the cash transfers to avoid detection.

The ruse was uncovered when one of the victims visited an OCBC branch in April 2018 to withdraw her fixed deposit of S$30,000 but was told there was no such deposit.

Internal investigations were launched by the bank, and Hoi admitted defrauding his customers. While he was being investigated, he committed another offence by lodging a false police report that he had left behind a bag containing S$12,350 in client payments in a taxi.

In fact, he had used the money to pay off loan sharks and filed the report so he could tell his cousin, who was his new employer, that the money was lost.

Source: CNA/ll(ac)


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