Remisier misappropriated S$128,000 from lawyer's mother on pretext of buying shares for her, gets jail
SINGAPORE: A remisier who misappropriated S$128,000 over six years from an elderly client was given about 16 months' jail on Tuesday (May 18) after the victim's son, a lawyer, lodged a police report.
Tan Chee Lok, 66, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal breach of trust as an agent and one of criminal breach of trust. Another four charges were considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Tan was a remisier with Lim & Tan Securities at the time of the offences between 2010 and 2016.
He was tasked with servicing trading accounts maintained by clients and helping them execute their share orders. He earned a commission from every transaction.
The victim, a 87-year-old housewife, had a trading account with Lim & Tan Securities.
Whenever she wished to buy shares, she would call Tan to tell him.
Between January 2010 and November 2015, she handed over more than 50 pre-signed blank cheques to Tan.
Tan told her that he would help the victim, who was illiterate, to fill out the required amount in the cheques and use them to purchase shares.
However, he did not place her share orders with the stockbroking firm. Instead, he filled out the pre-signed cheques and encashed them to his own bank accounts.
To avoid detection, whenever the victim said she wanted to sell some shares she had "bought", Tan would deposit some money into her bank account.
He used the victim's cheques to withdraw money from her bank account 54 times while he was working for Lim & Tan Securities.
Tan resigned from his job in June 2016 after suffering losses on the market.
Despite this, he continued to collect a pre-signed cheque from the victim and pretended to remain a remisier. On Oct 31, 2016, he withdrew S$1,002.80 from the victim's account.
In May 2019, the victim's son, who is a lawyer and former district judge, made a police report.
He had uncovered the crimes while helping his mother to settle some will matters. This came after he approached the stockbroking firm and realised Tan no longer worked there.
Tan later returned S$40,458 to the victim, making full restitution as he had returned her other sums of money at various intervals when she asked to sell her "shares".
For criminal breach of trust as an agent, Tan could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined.