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Chitchat Please Guess??? Sinkie Insurance Agent Cheat Family Friend's $310K meant for Policies!



Insurance agent cheated friend's family by pocketing nearly S$310k meant for policies, gets 30 months' jail​

Insurance agent cheated friend's family by pocketing nearly S$310k meant for policies, gets 30 months' jail
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  • An insurance agent cheated his friend's family of about S$310,000
  • He did so by offering them both real and fictitious insurance policies, but pocketed the money
  • Tan Wei Chong used his ill-gotten gains to feed his gambling addiction and to pay for his own expenses
  • He also forged a letter from insurer Great Eastern when the victim asked why she was not paid after the policy matured
  • Tan, 36, was sentenced to 30 months' jail



Published March 13, 2024
Updated March 13, 2024
SINGAPORE — To gamble online on unlicensed gambling websites and cover his personal expenses, an insurance agent cheated his friend's family of S$309,820.
Tan Wei Chong, 36, pocketed the money they had paid for both genuine policies offered by insurance agency Great Eastern and fictitious policies that he had invented.
Tan never made restitution to the victims, though Great Eastern fully reimbursed them for their losses some time later on Aug 27, 2021.
On Wednesday (March 13), Tan was sentenced to 30 months' jail, backdated to June 12 last year when he was put in remand.
He had pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal breach of trust, and a charge each of cheating and forgery.

Another five similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.


Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Cheng You Duen said that Tan was a financial consultant for Great Eastern when his friend, Mr Cher Chee Wee, introduced his family to Tan.
The pair had known each other since secondary school.
Mr Cher and his father, mother and sister purchased more than one insurance policy each from Tan. Court documents did not state the ages of Mr Cher and his father.
On Sept 22 in 2017, Tan met Mr Cher's mother, Ms Liu Swee Khim, now 71, and recommended that she get a Great Eastern insurance policy.

Ms Liu trusted Tan since he was her son's friend, and decided to invest S$100,000 in the policy through Tan.

Ms Liu then asked her daughter, Ms Jeslyn Cher, now 38, to give a cheque of S$100,000 to Tan, which she did.
When the cheque bounced, Tan asked Ms Cher to reissue another cheque. This time, he told her to leave the payee name unwritten and he would help her to fill it in.
However, instead of addressing the cheque to Great Eastern, Tan wrote the name of a company for which his father is a director.
He would then transfer the money in smaller transactions from the company bank account to his own bank account.
On Oct 16 in 2019, Tan called up Ms Liu to sell her another insurance policy — this time, the policy was fictitious.
He told her that there was an ongoing promotion for this policy and she decided to invest S$120,000.

Ms Liu again asked Ms Cher to issue a cheque with the payee name column left blank, and Tan deposited the cheque into his father's company bank account.
The next day, Tan called Ms Liu to tell her that he could not meet his sales target for the month. He asked if she could invest an extra S$30,000 into the fake policy and Ms Liu complied.

Tan was given a S$30,000 cheque by Ms Cher, which he deposited into his father's company account on Oct 22, 2019.
DPP Cheng said that Tan repeated the ruse again sometime around March 12 in 2020, where he told Ms Liu that he could not hit his sales target and asked her to buy a S$20,000 policy.
She agreed but transferred the money directly to Tan's personal bank account this time.
In total, Tan received S$309,820 from Ms Liu and Ms Cher. He used the money to feed his gambling addiction and to cover his personal expenses.
When the fictitious policy was due to mature on Sept 9 in 2020, Ms Liu called Tan because she had not received any payout or notification from Great Eastern.
To stave off further questions, Tan forged a letter from Great Eastern in October 2020 stating that there "were unintentional errors in the payment process that resulted in a delay in the payment" and sent the letter to her home.


DPP Cheng called for a sentence of 30 to 40 months' jail, noting that Tan had exploited the victims' trust, and that Tan's crimes involved a "large sum of money".
"The sentence imposed must sufficiently reflect the predatory character of the accused’s deceptions, which he committed against clients whom he had personal ties with, and also the consequent undermining of public confidence in the insurance industry and the integrity of insurance agents," DPP Cheng said.

Tan's lawyer, Mr Jeeva Joethy from law firm Regal Law LLC, pleaded for leniency and said that Tan had shown "genuine remorse".
"He is deeply embarrassed by the shame he caused his family, and will do the best he can when he is released," Mr Joethy said, asking for a sentence of 26 to 28 months' jail.
He added that Tan had submitted his own handwritten mitigation letter, which was not read out in court, and that this would be Tan's "first and last offence".
As District Judge Terence Tay meted out the sentence, he asked Tan to imagine that his family had been cheated by a rogue insurance agent.
"Imagine something happened, and they had no protection because of a rogue insurance agent," the judge said.
He acknowledged that Tan has taken steps to rid his gambling habits through counselling, but that deterrence was a key sentencing consideration.
Tan started crying soon after that.
In response, District Judge Tay told him not to be disheartened and that he should learn from this lesson.
For criminal breach of trust, Tan could have been jailed for up to seven years or fined, or both.
For cheating, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years or fined, or both.