Man posed as HDB-approved contractor to cheat residents
A man who ran a renovation company and posed as a Housing Board-approved contractor before misleading residents into engaging his services has been jailed and fined.
Gary Lau targeted 15 people, including seven senior citizens, from March last year to March this year and cheated 10 of them of $1,860.
He attempted to cheat the remaining five people, a district court heard yesterday.
The Singaporean conducted so-called inspections of his victims' flats and convinced them that patching work had to be carried out on the walls or ceilings. He would then collect cash deposits or full payments from them.
Lau used to own a company called Home Patching Contractor before transferring its ownership to a woman in November last year. He currently owns a company called Teamwork General Contractor.
Some home owners later realised he was not a contractor approved by the HDB and tried to get back their deposits.
He rebuffed most of them by pointing out that the invoices he had issued stated that deposits collected were non-refundable.
Lau, 56, was yesterday sentenced to six months' jail and a fine of $2,400.
He pleaded guilty to four cheating charges involving $1,050, as well as one count each of assault and harassment.
Twelve other charges, mainly for cheating offences involving the remaining amount, were considered during sentencing.
In one incident on March 22 this year, Lau knocked on the door of Mr Vernon Low's flat.
When Mr Low, 72, told him to leave, Lau went to a neighbouring unit and approached Mr Tee Chiong Lam, 78.
From inside his flat, Mr Low suggested that Mr Tee discuss the matter with his son first.
Lau, who flew into a rage when he heard this, hurled vulgarities at Mr Low and spat at him through the gate.
Mr Low got out of his flat and chased after Lau, who rained punches on the older man as they were reaching the ground level.
Mr Low managed to block most of punches and Lau left the scene.
He was arrested on April 1.