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Missing lawyer Jeffrey Ong arrested and charged in State Courts

jeffrey ong.jpg
Missing lawyer Jeffrey Ong has been arrested and charged in court.

JLC Advisors managing partner Jeffrey Ong Su Aun - the lawyer in the disappearance of S$33 million held in escrow for Allied Technologies - has been arrested and charged.

The Business Times was in State Courts on Thursday when the lawyer's case was mentioned. The 41-year-old was arrested in Malaysia on May 30 and charged on June 1.

According to the charge sheet, he allegedly cheated a company called CCJ Investments on Feb 19 into believing that Suite Development had entered into a loan agreement with CCJ Investments and induced CCJ Investments to disburse S$6 million, of which about S$3.3 million was used to refinance Suite Development's mortgage loan, and S$2.7 million was deposited into JLC Advisors' client account.

The cheating offence carries a prescribed punishment of up to 10 years in imprisonment and also liable to fine.

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The case would be next mentioned on June 13 as Ong remains in remand to assist with investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department. The CAD has conducted two raids so far, said deputy public prosecutor Nicholas Khoo to the district court on Thursday afternoon.

Ong had been uncontactable since mid-May.

The arrest of Ong came one week after JLC Advisors informed Catalist-listed precision engineering firm Allied Technologies that some S$33 million of its funds held in escrow by the boutique law firm had been paid out under Ong's instructions but might have been "unauthorised".

The authorities were earlier tight-lipped about Ong's arrest and prosecution because the Commercial Affairs Department needed time to round up other persons possibly involved in the case.

The crime-buster had on last Tuesday (May 29) called in Allied Tech executive director Kenneth Low Si Ren to help with investigations, and also seized information, records and documents from the company's premises and those of its subsidiaries including Asia Box Office and Activpass Holdings.

Allied Tech made headlines in May when news broke that some S$33 million of its funds parked with JLC Advisors were reportedly missing while Ong who had handled the escrow account remained incommunicado.

The police sent a statement on Thursday evening in response to BT's queries and said Ong was arrested in relation to an alleged case of misappropriation of $33 million from an escrow account held by JLC Advisors. "A police report was lodged on 21 May 2019 regarding the case. The police subsequently sought the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to locate and arrest Jeffrey Ong, who had left Singapore before investigations commenced. With the cooperation and assistance of the RMP, Jeffrey Ong was arrested and brought back to Singapore on May 30," the statement said. The police are unable to comment further as the case is before the courts.