Singapore

Man jailed for $1.8m property scam

A salesman who posed as a lawyer to cheat 21 victims out of nearly $1.8 million was yesterday sent to jail for seven years and two months.

Sim Tee Peng, 39, had pleaded guilty to 23 charges, including cheating, theft, forgery and giving false information. Another 41 charges were taken into consideration. He got another 12 weeks' jail on three charges of counterfeiting stamp duty certificates in property transactions.

Sim collected stamp duty payments and other conveyancing-related fees from property buyers, supposedly on behalf of four law firms.

Between June 2011 and September 2012, he collected between $17,088 and $312,000 from each victim.

Sim had worked as paralegal and had about four years of conveyancing experience, but he was never formally employed by the law firms and did not have a valid practising certificate.

He would tell the property buyers to deposit the money into his personal bank account or his company's.

Sim was the director of general wholesale company WW Hub.

He would present fake documents, such as false invoices using a law firm's letterhead or copies of unissued personal cheques. He even forged stamp certificates to dupe a law firm into reimbursing him.

Sim used the money he amassed to fund his personal expenses, such as buying a BMW 5 Series car, which he had also driven with an expired vehicle licence number.

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