Man jailed for cheating 14 drivers of $25,000 in rental deposits
A 34-year-old man was jailed for 38 weeks after he and three other men cheated drivers of their rental deposits.
Yesterday, Leong Wai Kiat pleaded guilty to four charges of abetment by engaging in a conspiracy to cheat, with 11 other charges taken into consideration.
In total, he cheated more than $25,000 worth of rental deposits from 14 drivers.
Leong was the project manager of Lux Limousine Services, a company that provided limousine driver jobs.
Interested parties would sign up as limousine drivers with the company and would have to pay rental deposits to Lux Limousine Services, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng Yuxi.
Leong would assist the general manager and the operations manager with the recruitment of walk-in applicants, and coordinate the limousine drivers who transported passengers to and from hotels and the airport.
Even though Leong's general manager was the one who handled the money and made the sales pitch to the applicants, Leong was aware the company had no intention of providing jobs to them.
The victims came across the job offers on social media platforms such as WeChat or Carousell.
Some of these victims, who were private hire car drivers, were also allegedly offered jobs by one of the co-accused persons when he was a passenger in their cars.
The victims would go to Lux Limousine Services to sign up as drivers and were asked to sign agreements stating the daily rental rate of the limousines and their income.
The victims would then make deposits of a few thousand dollars, but when they turned up to start work, the office would be closed and they could not contact the company.
A sister of one of the victims called the police in May 2018, and the police received several other reports about being cheated by the company.
DPP Cheng asked for at least 10 months' jail, arguing there were numerous victims and it was a sophisticated scheme that had been premeditated and planned.
In mitigation, Leong's lawyer John Koh argued that his client was merely acting on the instruction of the other two co-accused and he did not instigate the scheme.
Leong's co-accused, Mohamed Meerasa Marikkar, the director of Lux Limousine Services, was sentenced to 12 months' jail last year for his offences. The cases for the other two co-accused persons are still pending.