Man pleads guilty to cheating WDA of SkillsFuture monies
Together with his friends, he tried to cheat the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) of more than $550,000 in SkillsFuture claims.
Yesterday, Ng Yong Jing, 28, pleaded guilty to 18 counts of cheating by submitting inflated SkillsFuture claims, and one count each of cheating by submitting false attendance records and obstructing the course of justice.
Another 187 cheating charges were taken into consideration.
Ng, who also goes by the name Sean Ng, was the only trainer for A.I. Industries and Alliance Continens, which were approved by the WDA as training providers in December 2015.
A third company, C.G. Marketing, was setup in 2016 to promote the courses.
The court heard that sometime in early 2016, Ng and three others conspired to cheat WDA through the SkillsFuture Credit Scheme (SFC) by offering cashbacks to trainees who signed up for courses.
Each one-day course under the training companies was touted at $250 per trainee.
Of the $250 per trainee given by WDA, $75 went to the company, $75 to the marketing company, $50 to the sales person and $50 to trainees.
Conditions of the SFC included stipulations that trainees were not to get cashbacks, and trainees should cancel the claim if they did not attend the course.
Despite this, Ng continued to accept his payments, even when the trainees did not turn up.
Based on WDA's records, 1,121 trainees submitted 2,200 claims totalling $551,625 for the courses from March 3, 2016, to May 15, 2016.Ng also did not keep attendance records, and when a surprise audit was conducted, he falsified them.
Ng was arrested on July 25, 2016, but deleted messages with another conspirator.
However, the Commercial Affairs Department was able to recover the deleted messages.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Goh asked for at least 18 months' jail for Ng.
District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan adjourned sentencing and offered bail of $25,000.
For each charge of cheating the WDA by submitting inflated claims, Ng could be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
For obstructing the course of justice, he could be jailed up to seven years, or fined, or both.
Ng is expected to be back in court on Aug 26.