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Ex-bank officer who misappropriated S$520,000 gets 12-year prohibition orders

Bentley Lee Chang Yeh was sentenced to four years and nine months' imprisonment in November 2017 and fined S$50,000 for misappropriating aboutS $520,000 from clients.

A FORMER bank officer who was jailed in 2017 for misappropriating clients' money has now been slapped with multiple 12-year prohibition orders by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which cited his "fraudulent and dishonest conduct".

Bentley Lee Chang Yeh has been banned from carrying out activities regulated under the Securities and Futures Act, and from performing financial advisory services under the Financial Advisers Act, MAS said in a statement on Thursday.

He is also barred from taking part in the management, acting as a director or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market services firm under the first act and any financial advisory firm under the second, with the 12-year prohibition orders having kicked in on Aug 27.

Lee was sentenced to four years and nine months' imprisonment in November 2017 and fined S$50,000 for misappropriating about S$520,000 from clients he had met while working at United Overseas Bank (UOB) from 2005 to 2010.

He misappropriated the money from 2009 to 2013, after setting up a fund managemnet company to invest in shares and currency despite notholding a capital markets services licence.

Lee Boon Ngiap, the MAS assistant managing director of capital markets, said: "Finance professionals must conduct themselves honestly in the course of their work, since they are very often entrusted to handle customers' monies and assets. (The) MAS will not hesitate to take firm action against those who fall short of the required standards of behaviour.

"The present case is egregious and a large sum was misappropriated. This warrants a prohibition order of considerable duration to protect consumers, deter similar misconduct and preserve the integrity of our markets."

The main aim of the prohibition order regime is to protect the financial industry by preventing unsuitable people from conducting regulated activities, the MAS said in its statement.

It added that publishing such orders "also serves to ensure that a clear signal is sent to the rest of the industry that such misconduct cannot be taken lightly".