Man allegedly tried to exploit job grants during pandemic, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man allegedly tried to exploit job grants during pandemic

A 65-year-old man has been charged with cheating and forgery after he allegedly tried to claim $8,901.90 in grants from an employment programme the Government had introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wong Boon Lim is accused of attempting to cheat the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) by falsely claiming a Jap Hui Lan had worked as a trainee for a cleaning company that Wong owned.

He purportedly claimed that Jap, whose role in the alleged scheme was not stated in court documents, had worked for Houten Interior Services between July 2021 and September 2021.

A search on Singapore’s business registry showed that Wong was the sole owner of the company. It was deregistsred in October 2021.

The SGUnited Mid-Careers Pathway Programme was introduced in July 2020 in response to the pandemic’s impact on the economy. It was meant to support mature mid-career job seekers in securing attachments with host organisations.

SBF was in charge of evaluating and approving the number of attachments accorded to each host organisation.

Wong allegedly forged documents issued by Houten Interior Services sometime around September 2021 to show Jap’s progress reports over a three-month period in order to claim the grants.

He is said to have submitted the documents on Oct 1, 2021.

SBF withheld the grants after finding irregularities in the claim submission, the police said in a statement on April 2.

Wong, who did not enter a plea when he appeared in court on April 3, said he will engage a lawyer. His case has been adjourned to April 24.

Those found guilty of forgery can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined. For cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

The mid-career programme was introduced after Singapore’s economy shrank by 4.1 per cent in 2020 – its worst full-year recession since gaining independence.

The programme aimed to provide 14,500 traineeships and training opportunities for mid-career job seekers to help position them for post-pandemic employment.

The mid-career individuals were attached to host organisations for up to six months to gain relevant experience.