Teen cheated 21 victims of over $7,000 in Marquee nightclub tickets scam
A teenager, posing as a nightclub employee on Telegram, sold bogus tickets to a sold-out event to 21 victims in 2022, netting himself $7,055 to offset his losses from illegal online gambling.
On Wednesday, Alden Christopher Tan Choon Siang, 19, pleaded guilty to six charges of cheating.
He will return to court next month for sentencing, which will take another 15 cheating charges and one charge of committing a rash act into consideration.
According to court documents, Tan had lost around $10,000 in illegal online gambling.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Matthew Choo said Tan, then 18, wanted to gamble further to recoup his losses, and decided to get money by scamming others.
In July 2022, Tan discovered there was demand for tickets to an Aug 6, 2022, event at Marquee Singapore, a nightclub at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
The Straits Times previously reported that this date coincided with an event at Marquee hosted by K-pop star Jackson Wang. Those tickets were priced between $60 and $200, and were sold out in a day.
Posing as “Adam Sim”, he posted a message on a Telegram group chat, SG Clubbing, advertising tickets to the event, and added that buyers would not need to queue for entry.
When people contacted him, Tan said he had tickets for sale between $70 to $90.
At first, Tan directed victims to transfer money to an account provided by the illegal online gambling operator to top up his gambling account. But he was informed by the operator that this was not allowed.
He then bought three bank accounts – a CIMB account maintained in the name of Tan Boon Tin, and two OCBC accounts maintained in the names of Ryanveer Singh Dhillon and Teo Chun Chiang – and instructed victims to transfer payment there.
He then used the proceeds to top up his gambling account.
The largest amount transferred by a victim was $1,020.
Tan subsequently deleted his Telegram account and became uncontactable.
Realising they had been duped, victims alerted the police. Between July 30 and Aug 5, 2022, the police received at least 25 reports about the e-commerce scam.
Tan’s identity was established, and he was arrested in August that year.
He has since repaid $3,566. He also agreed for the remaining $849 in his bank account to be used to repay victims, said DPP Choo.
In a separate incident on Jan 1 this year, Tan threw a flowerpot down from the 13th floor of a Housing Board flat in Pasir Ris.