Accountant jailed 25 years, 10 months for embezzling $41 million | The New Paper

Accountant jailed 25 years, 10 months for embezzling $41 million

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A certified public accountant with an "insatiable appetite for gambling", who siphoned close to $41 million from his clients for over a decade to feed his addiction, was yesterday sentenced to a jail term of 25 years and 10 months.

"It is fair to say one man's gambling habit came at a great price for many," said High Court judge Chan Seng Onn, noting about $24 million remained unrecovered.

Ewe Pang Kooi, 65, a permanent resident, was convicted of 50 charges of criminal breach of trust as an agent. In sentencing, Justice Chan noted the scale of the misappropriation, Ewe's planning in devising a complex scheme of payments and the steps he took that allowed the embezzlement to go undiscovered for a decade.


The judge gave Ewe a sentencing discount for cooperating with investigations, making partial restitution and contesting the charges solely on the legal issue of whether he pocketed the money "in the way of his business as an agent".

Justice Chan also took into account Ewe's age to further tweak the sentence downwards "to avoid giving a sentence that is tantamount to a life imprisonment term".

The prosecution had sought 30 years in jail, while the defence argued for a term of 12 to 18 years.

Ewe was the managing partner of accounting firm Ewe, Loke & Partners, and a director of E&M Management Consultants, which provided financial consulting and corporate restructuring services.

He siphoned money from 21 companies he was supposed to liquidate and embezzled the assets of an individual in his role as a receiver.

Between February 2002 and July 2012, he used the funds to feed his gambling habit, settle debts or reinstate amounts he had siphoned off.

Ewe's lawyer, Senior Counsel Michael Khoo, indicated his client will appeal against the conviction and sentence.