UOB personal banker cheated clients of more than $200,000
UOB personal banker jailed 20 months after dining, shopping spree
As a senior personal banker with United Overseas Bank (UOB), she got clients to transfer more than $200,000 to her for investments.
But Ng Wei Ling, 26, used the money for dining and shopping for luxury goods.
She was yesterday jailed 20 months for cheating.
Ng, who joined UOB in April 2014, began her cheating spree in 2016, when she asked her client, Ms Herawati Wongso Ong, to hand over $50,000 for the purchase of a Prudential policy for her daughter.
Ms Ong withdrew the money and handed it in cash to Ng on Feb 18 that year. But Ng kept the money for herself.
Then sometime in early 2017, Ng asked another client, Ms Paula Permatasari, to participate in a bank promotion relating to a three-month fixed deposit with an annual interest rate of 8.8 per cent.
Ms Permatasari transferred a total of $40,000 to Ng's account on Feb 24 that year, which Ng kept for personal use.
Then in May that year, Ng asked her client, Ms Baba Hideko, to participate in another bank promotion relating to a three-month fixed deposit with an annual interest rate of 8 per cent.
Ms Hideko then transferred a total of $60,000 to Ng's account that month, which Ng once again kept for herself.
Ng was suspended by UOB on Sept 8 that year.
She pleaded guilty yesterday, and was convicted of five charges of cheating, with another eight charges taken into consideration. At least four other clients were named in the other charges.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Deborah Lee asked for a global sentence of 19 months.
She said that while Ng made restitution of $135,000 and about another $17,000 was seized from her by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), more than $50,000 remained missing.
In mitigation, her lawyer Mr T.M. Sinnadurai said she was the sole breadwinner of her household, and had to look after her ailing father who has high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
But the DPP told the court CAD's investigations found Ng had spent the money on transport, dining and shopping for luxury goods.
During sentencing, District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said he found the sentence the DPP had asked for inadequate, and that Ng's actions had the potential to affect public confidence in the financial sector.
He handed down to Ng to a global sentence of 20 months. Ng is out on bail of $60,000, and is expected to surrender herself on April 15.
For each charge of cheating and dishonestly inducing a delivery of property, she could have been jailed up to a decade and fined.
Ng is the third UOB employee to make the news for the wrong reasons this year.
On March 19, Timothy Tan Swee Thiam, a UOB relationship manager was convicted of repeatedly forging the signature of his "godsister" to make more than $2.2 million in unauthorised transactions from her accounts to meet sales targets.
He used the forged documents to apply for items including investments in Ms Pang Tze Ling's name without her knowledge.
And on Jan 23, Yap Bin Chun, a UOB relationship manager, admitted to abusing his illiterate client's trust and misappropriating more than $200,000 from the man after convincing him to sign various forms.
Yesterday, a UOB spokesman told The New Paper: "UOB does not tolerate any employee's breach of our code of conduct, which is values-based and sets the requirement for all to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards."
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