Ex-VP at UOB jailed after misappropriating nearly $5m
A vice-president at UOB who was entrusted with nearly $5 million in cash by a customer between 2004 and 2014 misappropriated it and passed the bulk of the amount to a woman.
On Tuesday (Jan 4), Ling Shek Lun, now 66, who is no longer working for the bank, was sentenced to nine years' jail after he pleaded guilty to 20 charges for offences including criminal breach of trust and forgery.
Another 122 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor V. Jesudevan said that Ling, a Singaporean, was also a customer service manager and that he worked for UOB from 1992 to 2015.
The customer, Mr Kevin William Braddick, was introduced to Ling sometime around late 1998 or the early 2000s.
Over time, Mr Braddick and his wife maintained various accounts with Ling as their relationship manager.
At around the same time, Ling was also introduced to a woman identified as Yong Ai Khim who later became his customer and business partner.
In 2002, she set up a business called "Nailxpert - Your Ultimate Nail Spa".
The court heard that Ling provided financial support for the nail spa business with the understanding that he would share its profits if the business became profitable.
The DPP said: "Around 2004, at Kevin's request for recommendations on nominee services provided by UOB, the accused proposed that Kevin's monies could be held by UOB as nominee for him and his wife. Kevin was agreeable.
"However, UOB did not provide such a nominee account service. The cash that was entrusted by Kevin to the accused to be deposited into the nominee bank account at UOB was mainly passed to Yong instead, without Kevin's knowledge."
Between 2004 and 2014, Mr Braddick entrusted Ling with cash totalling more than £2.7 million (S$4.9 million) and US$14,010 (S$19,000).
The court heard that after receiving the monies from Ling, Yong deposited them into UOB time deposit accounts.
Ling would also present Mr Braddick with bank statements which he had forged to provide "proof" that the monies had purportedly been deposited into the UOB "nominee" account.
On Sept 25, 2015, Mr Braddick asked to transfer about £373,000 from UOB to his DBS bank account.
He later received an e-mail from Ling, who stated that he had misused the funds.
UOB filed a police report against Ling in November that year, stating that it had received a letter from a lawyer representing Mr Braddick, who demanded access to his monies purportedly held in a UOB account.
Mr Braddick lodged a police report the following month.
He and his wife commenced a High Court suit against Ling in 2018 for the return of the monies.
On April 1, 2019, a judgment was obtained against Ling whereby he would pay the couple, and in January last year, a settlement agreement was made between the parties for the return of monies by Ling.
To date, he has paid Mr Braddick $312,415.
In an earlier statement, UOB said that it had dismissed Ling, adding that the bank has "zero tolerance" for any behaviour that violates its code of conduct.
Its spokesman added: "The UOB code of conduct lays down the principles of personal and professional conduct and requires all employees to uphold the highest standards."
Court documents do not disclose if action has been taken against Yong.