Singapore: 71-year-old Keppel Club membership scam culprit jailed for 12-years

Singapore woman arrested for money laundering
Singapore woman jailed for scam (Representational picture) Pixabay

The 71-year-old Keppel Club membership scam culprit was sentenced to 10-years of imprisonment on Monday.

The mastermind of the scam, Setho Oi Lin, was working as a personal assistant to the club's general manager for 40-years and received at least S$10.5 million after cheating on her employer for over 10 years.

She conned 1,341 people and made them pay about S$37.5 million for fake membership, between June 1, 2004, and Aug 1, 2014.

On December 4, 2017, she pleaded guilty to 60 counts of cheating. Setho was out on bail of S$393480, as she has some medical appointments but she will begin her jail term from May 7, 2018.

During the sentencing, the deputy presiding judge Jennifer Marie emphasized about Setho's flagrant and methodical disregard of the law.Marie mentioned that the accused chose to embark on the life of crime in her late 50s and masterminded the scam while breaching the trust of her employer.

In addition to that the judge also said that while it is unfortunate to see her behind the bars during her advanced age, the message from the court must be clear and unequivocal.

During the last hearing, Setho agreed to pay the club S$3.65 million in restitution but the prosecution urged for a jail term of 12 to 13 years.

While opposing the plea Philip Fong and Lynn Wong, the lawyers of the accused told the court about Setho's ill health condition advanced age, including the restitution settlement to seek a term of seven years imprisonment for their client.

Lawyers of Setho, presented medical reports of her that showed the culprit has several spinal cord problems, including hypertension and diabetes.

Those medical reports testified that she has to Setho for a shower and advised to walk with an assistive device. It also indicated that she has zero percent chance to survive any 10-year term in prison.

Reports stated that Setho tricked people by saying there were club memberships available for transfer and the buyers used to make payments to third parties, including Setho's friends, family and other accomplices, as they were asked to do that instead of paying the club directly.

A supervisor at the membership department helped Setho by registering the buyers' names into the club database and provided them fake membership cards.

Nah Hak Chuah, the former membership department supervisor and Ivy Cheo Soh Chin, the club member admitted their role in the scam on November 30, 2017.

The 67-year-old Nah admitted to 30 of 1,280 charges of making false entries in the club's membership database and was sentenced to three years of imprisonment on January 10.

The other accused Cheo, who is also 67-year-old pleaded guilty to 20 of 303 counts of money laundering and was jailed for 4 1/2 years on the same day

The court considered other 3,121 charges against Setho during sentencing, which included 1,281 counts of cheating, 1,339 counts of abetting false entries into club's database and 501 counts of dealing with the benefits of her criminal offence.

This article was first published on March 26, 2018