Freelance IT consultant cheats 62 people of $500k in investment scams
Looking to fund his gambling habit, Alvin Ker Jia Jun, 31, hatched a series of investment scams. He claimed he could double the capital invested in his get-rich-quick schemes within three months, or a year.
He also claimed the money would be invested in an educational institution, an opportunity related to the SkillsFuture scheme.
He added that he had a casino investment.
Instead, Ker gambled the money away at local and overseas casinos, and used his winnings to create the impression that the schemes were making money.
In all, 62 victims, including friends and acquaintances, were cheated of more than $500,000 in 2017 and last year.
Yesterday, the freelance IT consultant pleaded guilty to 40 counts of cheating. Another 94 cheating charges, and one charge of removing some $15,000 in criminal benefits out of Singapore, were taken into consideration.
Touting attractive guaranteed rates of return, Ker sought out investors using his personal Facebook account and asked his friends to share these posts on their social media networks.
After convincing those who contacted him that the investments were legitimate, the victims would transfer him sums ranging from $200 to $40,000.
To create confidence and motivate more people to invest, he would transfer money he won at the casino into some of the victims' bank accounts and share screenshots of these transfers on his Facebook page.
He was arrested on March 5 last year when he returned from a gambling trip to Vietnam. So far, just over $100,000 has been recovered by Ker's victims.
Ker, who was represented by lawyer Steven Lam, is in remand, and his case has been adjourned to Oct 15 for mitigation and sentencing.