SINGAPORE – Renovation business owner Huang Ruixiang has kept money paid by clients for renovation work in his own pocket for more than two years.
In other cases, after doing partial work, he misappropriated money intended for labor or materials.
The 40-year-old scammed victims by claiming there was an investment opportunity in his company, scamming 40 people out of more than $160,000.
He was jailed for 32 months on Thursday after pleading guilty to four counts of cheating and four counts of breach of trust.
A further 32 charges were considered in the sentencing.
Deputy Prosecutor Chong Kee En said Huang, who went by the name Desmond Huang, owns SG Venture Furnishing, which was registered in May 2020.
One of the victims contracted him to renovate his apartment in August 2020. Huang used the first $4,000 she remitted to pay her subcontractors and purchase materials, but then diverted her $6,000 for materials and labor.
When the victim asked if the work would be completed, Huang excused himself and contacted him later.
The victim then called the subcontractors and discovered that Huang had not paid them.
Another victim contacted Huang after seeing an ad for him on Facebook in November 2020. From November 7, 2020 to her December 5, she sent him her $26,125 for materials and labor for the renovation.
Huang only spent $5,000 on subcontractors and materials and diverted the rest. When the victim tried to contact him on his January 31, 2021 date, Juan was lost.
DPP Chong said that in most of the crimes, Huang uses money received from customers to spend on illegal online gambling platforms or to repay illegal moneylenders.
He was investigated several times after the victim called the police.
DPP Chong said Huang changed his name to Darian after it became known online that he had defrauded various customers and subcontractors in connection with renovation contracts.
He also misused the name of the subcontractor, even though he was not affiliated with it.
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/32-months-jail-for-renovation-business-owner-who-scammed-40-victims-of-over-160000 32 months in prison for renovation business owner who defrauded 40 victims of more than $160,000