A consulting firm owner scammed 10 people by pretending to hold various positions, including a lawyer running a law firm, resulting in a total loss of $84,598.
Thong Meng Fie, who owned Growportunity Consulting, claimed the company was a law firm.
He hired staff to work for him, but they were unaware that he was unqualified to practice law.
In fact, the scammer was sent to prison multiple times between 2000 and 2017 for fraud and other charges.
Thong, 46, pleaded guilty on Friday to eight counts of crimes, including cheating.
He committed some of his recent crimes while on a remission order shortly after his final release from prison in April 2019.
As part of the order, he was to be out of trouble from April 27, 2019 to August 25, 2020.
Instead, Tong returned to a life of crime just months after being released.
The court heard that he posted an online advertisement identifying Growportunity Consulting as a law firm.
He also hired four unsuspecting staff to run the company’s online marketing and administrative duties.
In early August 2019, a 51-year-old woman looking for a lawyer to represent her son in a criminal case spotted an ad and visited Tong’s offices on North Bridge Road.
Thong then lied about being a lawyer and discussed his son’s case.
Deputy Prosecutor Tay Jinxi said, “After discussion, the defendant said (to the woman) that she would take up her son’s case.
“To perpetuate his lies, the defendants issued a ‘warrant to act’ and other documents showing that he ‘represented’ (them) in… the matter.”
Thong then tricked his mother into paying a total of $45,500 nine times between August 14th and November 27th, 2019.
He used the money to cover expenses such as office rent, employee salaries, and donations to the Central Provident Fund.
Court documents did not reveal what happened next, but the woman filed a report with police on December 13, 2019, alleging that Thong cheated on her.
In early 2020, he met and kept in touch with a 57-year-old facial therapist.
On October 24, 2020, he learns that she wants to renovate Serangoon’s salon.
He then told the woman that he could help her with feng shui related issues.
Thong contacted her facial therapist on November 1, 2020, and told her it was a special day of prayer.
The Democratic Party said, “The defendant insisted that (the woman) change the feng shui of the salon.
“Believing defendant was capable and intended to do so, and feeling pressured by defendant’s repeated demands,[she]agreed and paid $500 in cash that day. handed over to the defendant.
The woman originally intended to use the money to purchase supplies to run the salon.
On December 20, 2020, she told a police officer that she had been deceived by Thong.
He has not compensated his mother and facial therapist in any way.
Besides two women, he cheated on eight people. To date, he has returned a total of $1,600 to his two of them. Judgment will be handed down on November 7th.
For each count of misconduct, offenders can face up to 10 years in prison and fines.
https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/conman-admits-cheating-10-people-nearly-85000 Conman admits to cheating 10 people and made nearly $85,000, latest Singapore news