Singapore

Ex-bank exec gets 7 years’ jail for cheating clients of nearly $2m

A former bank executive who cheated seven people of nearly $2 million in total was sentenced to seven years' jail yesterday.

Han Delong, 34, had earlier pleaded guilty to 27 charges involving more than $1.2 million in total. They include five counts of criminal breach of trust, seven of cheating, and one of forgery.

Another 67 charges linked to the remaining amount were taken into consideration by District Judge John Ng during sentencing.

The court had heard that the victims were Han's clients when he was working for UOB as a senior personal banker between August 2014 and December 2015.

During that time, he was responsible for the sale and marketing of the bank's wealth products, such as unit trusts and structured deposits.

Between Feb 28, 2015, and Dec 7, 2015, he promoted fictitious fixed deposits purportedly issued by UOB to one of his victims. She entrusted him with cash totalling $95,000, which he misappropriated.

The court heard he also cheated three other victims using a similar method between July 2015 and October 2015.

Han resigned from UOB in December 2015.

But he continued promoting a fictitious fixed deposit purportedly offered by the bank to the first victim. She was duped into handing over another $20,000.

From March 2016 to January 2017, Han worked for OCBC Bank as a premier relationship manager and was responsible for its wealth products.

He continued to target his victims while working for OCBC as well as after he left the bank.

Court documents state that some of the money misappropriated by Han was transferred to various recipients, including his brother.

DISMISSED

In 2019, OCBC said Han was dismissed after his attempt to defraud a customer was discovered. The matter was also reported to the police.

He has since made restitution of $275,000, which was taken into account by the judge during sentencing yesterday.

The judge, however, said Han's repayment of a separate sum of $350,000 to some of his victims - money he had obtained from his later victims - was "just one method of continuing the offence".

Han's jail term has been backdated to Oct 8, 2019, when he was remanded.

For each of his cheating offences, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

COURT & CRIME