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Author Topic: Emeline Tang Wei Leng [Certified Dishonest]  (Read 1953 times)

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Emeline Tang Wei Leng [Certified Dishonest]
« on: July 01, 2018, 02:29:50 PM »
Ex-HSBC VP who cheated mostly elderly victims of $5.2 million jailed 10.5 years
Wan Ting Koh | 29 June 2018

A former vice president of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) who cheated mostly elderly victims of $5.2 million over 12 years through an investment scam was jailed for 10 and a half years on Friday (29 June).

Most of the five victims who were cheated of their life savings by Emeline Tang Wei Leng were in their twilight years, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim noted.

“The victim impact statements (submitted by the victims) that I have read are rather heart wrenching I must say,” said the judge.

“You committed the offence for a good decade, except one, all are in their 70s, they are so devastated I don’t see how they can recover from it.”

Noting that Tang turned 40 this year, the judge said, “she still has some time, unlike her victims.”

Tang, who first joined HSBC as a relationship manager in 2004, pleaded guilty earlier this month to 34 charges, including forgery, cheating and using the benefits of criminal conduct. Another 223 charges of a similar nature were considered for her sentencing.

Four of the victims were Tang’s relatives: her husband’s aunt, two of her distant relatives, and her sister-in-law. The fifth victim was a friend of her relatives. Aged between 45 and 81, the victims would give Tang either cash or cheques.

In 2003, Tang came to know through her husband, a property agent, that his aunt had earned some money after selling property through him.

Tang contacted the aunt and told her that HSBC had fixed deposit plans that offer higher interest rates than other banks. Tang added that she could help her open a fixed deposit account.

The aunt, who initially wanted to issue a crossed cheque to HSBC, was convinced to issue a cheque to Tang, who said that she would be able to deposit the monies faster.

Tang deceived others with the same investment plan, which she claimed had interest rates of 3 to 4 per cent.

After receiving the monies, Tang prepared false HSBC policy booklets, including details such as policy numbers, maturity value, commencement and expiry dates.

After the plans supposedly reached their maturity date, Tang would contact the victims and ask if they wanted to continue. They would either tell her to roll over the interest or top up additional funds.

When the victims asked to cash out their interest or withdraw part of their capital, Tang would hand them some money to maintain the scam.

Initially, Tang kept the proceeds of her deception in her own HSBC account, but she later cashed the cheques over bank counters or keep the cash at home.

Tang was exposed in mid-January 2015 when some of the victims asked her to withdraw funds from their fixed deposit plans. She failed to meet these victims despite her promises to do so.

Her evasion prompted the victims to contact HSBC. They were told that they had no investment plans with HSBC and that Tang had left the company in 2012.

By then, Tang had made away with $5,203,116.28 of the victims’ monies.

Tang has since returned the victims $800,207, a portion of which was given to the victims as “returns” from their investments during the time of the offences.

On Friday, the prosecution sought for at least 10 years’ jail for Tang.

Noting the age of the victims, Deputy Public Prosecutor Haniza Abnass said the vicitms had no way to earn the money that they had lost, most of which were their life savings.

The DPP cited the planning carried out by Tang and the extended period of the offences. Tang also abused the trust of the victims, added the DPP.

Tang’s lawyer Mathew Kurian said in mitigation on Friday that Tang, who had three children, aged seven to 15, had cheated the victims to pay off her husband’s gambling debts and her late father’s loans. Asking for eight years for his client, Kurian said Tang’s father was suffering from cancer at the time.

Her husband was emotionally abusive towards her and she divorced him last year, Kurian added.