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Author Topic: SkillsFuture Scammers: Ng Cheng Kwee et al.  (Read 6005 times)

Offline greentara

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SkillsFuture Scammers: Ng Cheng Kwee et al.
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:57:12 PM »

Criminal syndicate scams S$40m of fake SkillsFuture claims
Dec 19, 2017 | Shaffiq Idris Alkhatib

A 41-year-old man has been hauled to court over his alleged involvement in Singapore's largest case of a defrauding of a public institution to date involving nearly S$40 million.

The government agency involved is SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) which promotes a culture of lifelong learning.

On Tuesday, Ng Cheng Kwee was charged with three counts of intentionally perverting the course of justice.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Victoria Ting told the court that a criminal syndicate could be involved and Ng is believed to be one of the main perpetrators.

Before this, Ng had been charged with one count of engaging in a conspiracy to commit forgery.

He had also been charged with concealing benefits of criminal conduct - namely S$6.7 million in cash and 11kg of gold worth about S$600,000.

Ng is said to have committed these offences between this April and last month.

Four other people have also been charged over their alleged involvement in the case.

In a statement on Tuesday, SSG said it detected anomalies in claims for training grants at the end of October.

It immediately suspended all payments of grants to nine business entities and reported the matter to the police.

Following this incident, SSG said it has taken immediate actions to tighten its processes, which include implementing fraud analytics, while conducting a comprehensive review of the system.

"SSG takes a serious view of any individual, training provider or organisation that abuses its funding schemes, and will not hesitate to take action against those who contravene its funding rules and guidelines," said the agency.

Ng is now remanded at Central Police Division and will be back in court on Dec 26.


Offline greentara

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Re: SkillsFuture Scammers: Ng Cheng Kwee et al.
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2018, 12:15:14 AM »
First person jailed over $40m SkillsFuture scam; helped sister hide $6.7m at home
Selina Lum | Nov 27, 2018

SINGAPORE - A jobless man who helped his sister and brother-in-law launder and hide part of the proceeds of their $40 million SkillsFuture scam - the largest case of a government agency being defrauded - was sentenced to five years and eight months' jail on Tuesday (Nov 27).

Lee Chi Wai, 30, had helped squirrel away $6.7 million in cash and 11kg of gold valued at $626,500 at his Sengkang flat.

He also used $282,500 to buy 5kg of gold and asked his sister for a $30,000 loan to buy a car for himself.

Lee is the first of five people charged in court over the scam last year to be sentenced.

The cases against his sister Lee Lai Leng, 40, her husband Ng Cheng Kwee, 42, the Lee siblings' mother Tan Yoon Nooi, 60, and Ng's friend David Lim Wee Hong, 40, are pending.

Ng is alleged to be the mastermind of the scam which netted nearly $40 million in fake claims from SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), a government agency that gives out grants and funding for lifelong training.

Between May and October last year, the syndicate used a network of nine business entities - three training providers and six applicant entities - to submit 8,386 fraudulent course fee grant applications and a corresponding 8,391 claims to SSG.

The applications and claims were submitted on the basis that training courses were purportedly provided by the three training providers to about 25,000 employees of the six applicant entities.

As a result, SSG disbursed $39.9 million in course fee subsidies.


Offline ainat

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Re: SkillsFuture Scammers: Ng Cheng Kwee et al.
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2021, 11:03:06 PM »
Husband-wife masterminds of $39.9 million SkillsFuture scam get 31 years' jail collectively
Hariz Baharudin | Aug 16, 2021

SINGAPORE - Two masterminds behind a $39.9 million SkillsFuture scam, the largest fraud against a public institution here, have been sentenced to a jail term of more than 31 years combined for cheating, forgery and money laundering offences, among others.

Ng Cheng Kwee was sentenced to more than 17 years in jail, while his wife, Lee Lai Leng, was given a 14-year jail sentence on Monday (Aug 16), said the police.

The scam targeted SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), which oversees an initiative aimed at promoting lifelong learning. The SSG scheme pays subsidies to Singapore businesses when they send an employee for skills training courses with registered training providers if certain conditions are met.

This subsidy reimburses some of the course fees and is paid either to the training provider or the business, depending on the claim method used.

The scammers used nine Singapore-registered firms that submitted 8,386 fraudulent course fee grant applications and a corresponding 8,391 claims to SSG between May and October 2017.

These submissions involved 25,141 employees purportedly working for six applicant entities. These "employees" purportedly attended training courses conducted by three training providers.

All nine were in fact shell companies that Ng, Lee and other co-conspirators had registered as applicant companies and training providers with SSG between January and July 2017.

To prevent their own names from appearing in the claims, they paid three people to act as nominee directors of the nine entities.

"The syndicate's scheme resulted in SSG disbursing approximately $39.9 million of training grants in total to the corporate bank accounts of eight entities," said the police in a statement on Monday.

When SSG flagged some of the course fee grant applications and claims for manual checks, Ng and Lee submitted forged and/or falsified documents to SSG between May 2017 and August 2017.

"These documents include employment contracts and attendance records of training courses, which were never conducted," the police said.

Ng enlisted an acquaintance, a Vincent Peter, to arrange for someone to encash cheques from the corporate accounts of the nine entities in August and September 2017. The cheques had been pre-signed by the nominee directors.

Vincent Peter in turn approached Manickam Pragasam and Nathan Muniandy to encash the cheques.

The cash was placed in a safe at the flat of Lee's brother, Lee Chi Wai.

Ng and Lee used some of the proceeds to purchase 11kg of gold.

Lee was arrested on Nov 2, 2017, while Ng was arrested a month later on Dec 4 when he returned from China.

The six men who were part of Ng and Lee's syndicate, including Lee's brother, were convicted in 2018 and 2019 and sentenced to jail terms ranging from 33 to 104 months.

Court proceedings against three other alleged members of the syndicate are ongoing.