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Ex-company director sentenced to jail for false trading and deception: MAS

Ex-company director sentenced to jail for false trading and deception: MAS

A view of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's headquarters on Jun 28, 2017. (File photo: Reuters/Darren Whiteside)

SINGAPORE: A former company director was sentenced to jail and fined for false trading and deception, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday (Mar 15). 

Wong Leon Keat was sentenced to a total of eight weeks' jail and given a S$30,000 fine on Friday for false trading and deceiving a brokerage firm while trading in the shares of Gaylin Holdings Limited. 

He was convicted on Feb 11

His conviction was a result of a joint investigation conducted by MAS and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force, following a referral by the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) to MAS, said the authority. 

He was charged with 17 counts under the Security and Futures Act for creating "misleading appearances" with respect to the price of Gaylin shares on 17 occasions from Nov 11, 2015 to Oct 25, 2016. 

Wong was charged with one count under the Security and Futures Act for deceiving UOB Kay Hian by not disclosing his 50 per cent beneficial interest in the Gaylin shares bought using a UOB Kay Hian trading account belonging to another person. 

He was also charged with one count under the Penal Code for providing false information to the public officer investigating the case. 

Wong pleaded guilty to seven counts of market manipulation and one count of using a another person's security account for his own trades. The remaining 11 charges were taken into consideration for sentencing. 

READ: Ex-company director pleads guilty to market rigging; bought and propped up shares to protect his reputation

BOUGHT SHARES TO PROTECT REPUTATION

Wong was a director of WLA Regnum from 2007 to 2017. The company's business included advising corporate entities on initial public offerings (IPO) on the mainboard or catalist board of the SGX-ST. 

WLA Regnum advised Gaylin on its IPO in 2012 and Wong, in his personal capacity, introduced investors to invest in Gaylin shares. From 2012 to 2016, he helped several individuals manage their investments and had control over their UOB Kay Hian trading accounts. 

On 17 occasions from Nov 11, 2015 to Oct 25, 2016, Wong bought Gaylin shares, in small quantities of 100 to 200 shares each time, through a UOB Kay Hian trading account belonging to one of these individuals. 

His trades caused Gaylin's share prices to close 6.5 per cent to 38.6 per cent higher than they would have done otherwise, said MAS. 

"(Mr) Wong wanted to create the misleading appearance with regard to Gaylin’s share prices in order to, amongst other things, protect his reputation, because his company (WLA Regnum) had been involved in Gaylin’s IPO process and he had introduced investors to invest in Gaylin shares," said the authority. 

In one UOB Kay Hian account belonging to another individual but controlled by Wong, he and the account holder agreed to each hold 50 per cent beneficial interest in the Gaylin shares bought in the account. 

Wong did not disclose his beneficial ownership to UOB Kay Hian and therefore deceived the organisation into believing the account holder was the sole beneficial owner of the shares. 

Assistant managing director (policy, payment & financial crime) of MAS Loo Siew Yee said Wong's conduct "distorted" the price of Gaylin shares on multiple occasions. 

"False trading and unauthorised trading undermine public confidence in our capital markets. MAS will take firm action against persons who engage in such misconduct," said Ms Loo. 

Source: CNA/lk

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