Running coach Lexxus Tan investigated by police for alleged scams, Latest Athletics News - The New Paper

Running coach Lexxus Tan investigated by police for alleged scams

At least three police reports have been made against local running coach Lexxus Tan in the last nine months, with the cases related to alleged scams for running-related products, businesses and events.

Tan, who is the founder of running clubs F1 Runners and FastOnes, was in October 2020 jailed for 17 months after pleading guilty to a charge of cheating. Between February 2017 and June 2018, he had duped nearly 40 of his athletes of more than $100,000, selling them false tour packages for overseas marathon trips or non-existent Garmin watches.

Now, the 51-year-old is back in the spotlight again, with his alleged victims claiming to have been cheated of over $32,000. The police confirmed on Jan 4 that two reports have been made and that investigations are ongoing.

In one case, a sales manager who only wanted to be known as Andrew reportedly invested $20,000 in Tan’s sports shoe business, with the former stating that the contract stipulated that he would receive a payout of 15 per cent of that sum every six months.

But Andrew, who had previously purchased shoes from Tan, did not receive any invoice or updates after transferring the amount to him in September 2022.

The 42-year-old did not get his payout of $3,000 in March 2023, and in mid-2023 requested for the return of his full investment from Tan, who requested for a one-month extension. But Tan stopped replying to messages thereafter, prompting Andrew to file a police report in August.

Andrew said: “I was trying to get more healthy (during the pandemic) and I joined the community – we went for runs and I started to know more people. But because of this incident... it has taken the fun out of the run.”

A renovation contractor, who only wanted to be identified by his surname Yeo, said he invested $12,500 in a Singapore International Bikini Run that Tan was supposedly organising.

The event started in Pattaya a few years ago and Tan claimed that he had obtained the franchise for it to be held at Sentosa on April 23, 2023.

Yeo, 53, transferred the money to him in November 2022 and their contract stated that the money would be returned to him in May 2023.

But as the date of the event approached, Yeo asked Tan for updates but the latter tried to delay their meeting, saying that he was sick and there were not enough investors and funds.

They finally met two days before the run was supposed to happen, with Tan telling Yeo he was looking to move the event to East Coast Park as there were not enough investors and Sentosa was too expensive.

Yeo requested for his money to be returned, but after several delays and failed attempts to contact Tan, he made a police report in December.

He said: “We hope that he learns a lesson and stops targeting other people. For some, it may seem like an insignificant amount but for someone else, it can be a matter of life and death. 

“Moving forward I hope no one else is affected… As a coach, you’re supposed to be someone who walks the talk and acts as a mentor to many, and yet you are doing all the ugly things which I don’t think is correct.”

Another alleged victim, a secretary who only wanted to be known as Ng, told The Straits Times that she knew of Tan’s past but wanted to give him a chance.

The 43-year-old, who joined Tan’s running club in 2021, previously bought three pairs of running shoes from the group but dealt with a different person – her orders were fulfilled then.

In October 2022, she ordered a pair of Xtep running shoes and paid Tan $229.

But this time, the shoes never arrived. After six months of waiting, she contacted Tan, who said he would give her a refund. He did not and stopped responding to messages after that.

Another runner Oh Yu Song, 36, ordered a pair of Nike Vaporfly shoes for $279 from Tan in April 2023 but the shoes were not delivered.

After several delays, Tan told Oh, who works in the science industry, that the shoe size was not available and he would issue a full refund, which only came in August 2023.