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Three company directors charged with conspiring to cheat IBM Capital of S$160,500

THREE directors of different companies have been charged in court with conspiring to cheat financial leasing firm IBM Capital Singapore of S$160,500.

According to a press statement issued on Tuesday by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), they will also be charged with falsification and abetment in relation to the alleged conspiracy.

The three individuals are Tang Li Ming Clive, Peter Chua Hua Seng and Joemario Lim Ruiyang, aged 37, 42 and 28 respectively. At the time the offences were committed around three years ago, Tang was a director of WCT Holdings Group as well as kitchen ventilation specialist WCT Systems, while Chua was a director of IT solutions provider Skylight Holdings. Lim held directorship roles in coal mining services firm Fortune Coal and Energy (FCE), as well as IT consultancy firm Champion Corporate Consultants (CCC).

Sometime in end-2017 or early 2018, the trio allegedly deceived IBM Capital into believing that WCT Holdings, which is in the business of installing and erecting building equipment such as lifts and escalators, had purchased a server and 15 mobile phones through Skylight. The deception resulted in IBM Capital paying a sum of S$160,500 to Skylight, when in fact there was no such purchase.

This was reportedly accomplished with Chua falsifying a delivery order with the fictitious order details in Skylight's letterhead, which was then collected by Lim who passed it to Tang to sign and acknowledge the delivery of the said items, when in fact no such incident took place. Chua is also said to have prepared a falsified tax invoice in Skylight's letterhead used to bill IBM Capital S$160,500 for the items.

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Following IBM Capital's payment, Tang purportedly falsified a tax invoice in WCT Holdings' letterhead to state that Skylight had purchased certain equipment from the company. This was to enable the legitimate transfer of funds Skylight received from IBM Capital to WCT Holdings, allegedly committed on Chua's instructions communicated to Tang, via Lim.

Lim is also alleged to have prepared a falsified tax invoice in CCC's letterhead to legitimise the disbursement of the money from Skylight to FCE, based on Chua's instructions.

For the abovementioned offences the trio each faces one charge for the offence of cheating and dishonesty, as well as numerous charges for falsification and abetment.

In the same statement, CPIB said Tang is separately charged by the Singapore Police Force with instigating an unknown Chinese man to commit forgery for the purpose of cheating.

Tang additionally faces various corruption charges in unrelated incidents which took place over 2016 and 2017, when he paid two individuals gratification sums of S$250 and S$1,000 for the award of contracts from companies that the individuals worked in at the time, to WCT Systems.

He also gave false information to a senior special investigator of CPIB in November 2017, hence resulting in another charge.

"Singapore adopts a zero tolerance approach towards corruption and other criminal activities such as cheating and the falsification of accounts. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to S$100,000 or sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years or to both," said CPIB in its statement.

"Any person who is convicted of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code or the falsification of accounts under Section 477A of the Penal Code can be sentenced to imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and also be liable to a fine."

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