Top lawyers among those allegedly cheated in $1 billion fraud scheme
Several notable names in the legal fraternity were purportedly cheated by a Singaporean businessman.
Ng Yu Zhi, 34, director of Envy Asset Management and Envy Global Trading, is said to have swindled investors into putting at least $1 billion into deals that never took place.
The investors were promised varying returns averaging 15 per cent over three months.
Ng, who was arrested in February, had 18 charges against him for cheating, fraudulent trading and forgery. Yesterday, he was slapped with another 13 similar charges.
He is accused of criminal breach of trust involving more than $200 million.
The alleged victims named in the new charges include Temasek International general counsel Pek Siok Lan, criminal lawyer Sunil Sudheesan and former Law Society president Thio Shen Yi.
Ms Pek was allegedly cheated of $5.5 million, Mr Sunil of $1 million, and Mr Thio of $87,000. Ms Pek's profile on Temasek's website says she has more than 25 years of experience in the legal sector.
Mr Sunil heads the criminal department of law firm Quahe Woo and Palmer.
He is also president of the Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore and a council member of the Law Society.
Mr Thio is a founding partner of TSMP Law and was named Singapore Lawyer of the Year at the Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Awards last year.
Other notable names allegedly cheated by Ng include investment professionals.
Vickers Capital Group chairman Finian Tan was purportedly swindled of US$19.2 million (S$25.8 million), and Chuan Hup Holdings chief executive Terence Peh was said to have been cheated of $3 million.
Ng, who is represented by Mr Navin Thevar from Davinder Singh Chambers, is out on bail of $1.5 million.
If convicted of cheating, he could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge. For each charge of fraudulent trading, he could be jailed for up to seven years, or fined up to $15,000, or both. For criminal breach of trust, he could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined.
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