Jail for man who cheated $108k in scams , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Jail for man who cheated $108k in scams

A conman cheated six victims of more than $108,000 in total in different scams in 2022 and 2023, and misappropriated another $22,400 from his employer in 2019.

David Chua, 36, who pleaded guilty to two cheating charges and one count of criminal breach of trust, was sentenced to a year and nine months in jail on June 14.

He is expected to start serving his sentence on July 19 and was offered bail of $15,000.

Some time on or before Aug 13, 2022, Chua hatched a plan to cheat others and advertised the sale of tickets to an e-gaming tournament on online marketplace Carousell.

Five victims transferred nearly $21,000 to him in total on at least six occasions between Aug 13 and Oct 23, 2022, but he did not send them their tickets.

He has since made restitution totalling $2,700 to three of the victims.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan Lim said that the sixth victim of cheating got to know Chua through the same Carousell advertisement.

The DPP told the court that Chua then cheated the man, adding: “The accused had offered the victim various purported investment opportunities, including in currency trading, and the victim made... transfers to take advantage of those opportunities. The transfers were all made to bank accounts in the accused’s name.”

Chua then told the victim that the so-called trading account used for one of the latter’s “investments” had been frozen.

He instructed the man to contact his friend “Khun Nai”, claiming he was a broker who could purportedly arrange for the withdrawal of the victim’s investment monies. 

Posing as Khun Nai, Chua later instructed the unsuspecting victim to transfer sums of money on 25 occasions between Dec 17, 2022, and Jan 31, 2023. The transfers were made to either Chua’s bank account, or to those used by gambling websites to top up Chua’s gambling accounts.

DPP Lim said: “The accused lied that the transfers were necessary to enable the victim to withdraw his investment monies, or to pay fees, or to settle other issues relating to the investment. Believing this, the victim made the transfers accordingly.”

In total, Chua duped the sixth victim into transferring more than $87,600. Chua has made no restitution to him.

Separately, the court heard that Chua had also worked as a consultant at a travel agency.

Between September and October 2019, he asked six of its customers to pay for their tour packages through methods such as cash transfers to his personal bank accounts.

These customers paid a total of $22,400 to Chua, who made off with the money. He then used the amount to pay off his gambling debts.

One of the customers later contacted the travel agency, stating that he did not receive some items, including an itinerary.

The agency conducted an internal investigation and Chua’s employment was terminated on Oct 31, 2019. One of its representatives alerted the police the next day. Chua has made no restitution to his former employer.