Former pawnshop director charged with misappropriating over $5m
A former pawnshop director was charged in court on Tuesday with misappropriating more than $5 million, over five years, from the pawnshop he was working at. Li Yong De, 34, faces two counts each of criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts.
He also faces four counts of converting benefits of criminal conduct, and one count each of cheating, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, money laundering, and other offences.
Investigations revealed that between June 2013 and August 2018, Li allegedly enabled unauthorised cash cheques to be drawn on the company's bank account.
To give the false impression the cash cheque withdrawals were legitimate, he created fake pawn tickets not backed by pledges and falsified corresponding entries in the company's database.
He spent the money on gambling at the casinos, servicing interest payments for the monthly renewals of fake pawn tickets, issuing dividends to the shareholders of the company, and buying luxury goods.
In April and May 2018, Li allegedly made a down payment of about $77,000 for a Mercedes Benz GLC250 4matic Auto with the money. He also allegedly bought luxury watches.
In 2017, he allegedly used $5,000 to buy a Chopard ladies' watch and in 2014, he allegedly used $12,000 to buy a Glashutte men's watch.
Between October 2014 and July 2018, he also allegedly falsified accounts at Sin Lian pawnshop at least 800 times.
In June 2013, when he was working at Prestige Watches & Jewellery, he allegedly misappropriated 30 watches valued at $200,000.
Li's case has been adjourned to a later date. - ADELINE TAN