The logo of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is pictured at its building in Singapore in this February 21, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo The logo of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is pictured at its building in Singapore in this February 21, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo
(FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE — The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders (POs) against two former bank employees and two former insurance agents for fraudulent and dishonest conduct, with bans ranging from six to 25 years.

The POs against the four took effect 4 May, the MAS said in a statement on Friday (8 May). The bans were issued against these individuals following their convictions in the State Courts for offences involving fraud and dishonesty.

Kale Jagdish Purushottam, a former representative of Barclays Bank Plc, Singapore branch, is issued a 25-year prohibition order.

Between May 2010 and January 2013, Mr Purushottam forged signatures and banking documents to deceive Barclays into transferring about US$10 million from three clients’ accounts to a third party for payment of his debts. He then made more illegal fund transfers from, and raised unauthorised loans in, the accounts of nine other clients to cover up the shortfalls in the three clients’ accounts and to pay his debts.

He also forged documents and engaged in a number of unauthorised stock and foreign exchange trades. These unauthorised trades caused further net losses of at least US$10 million to Barclays.

Purushottam was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.

Liaw Tick Kwan, former representative of DBS Bank Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited, is prohibited for a period of 10 years.

Liaw applied for Internet banking facilities for his client, who then entrusted him with the Internet banking security token and login details. Between September 2013 and May 2014, Mr Liaw accessed his client’s bank account without authorisation to make several outward transfers. He also made unauthorised transfers to a second client’s bank account and convinced the second client to transfer the money to him. In March 2015, Mr Liaw deceived the first client into signing a blank cheque, which he claimed was for the payment of a management fee. Mr Liaw received nearly $200,000 as a result of his criminal conduct, which he used for his personal investments and expenses.

Liaw was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment.

Purushottam and Liaw are banned from providing any financial advisory service or taking part in the management of, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the Financial Advisers Act over the periods of their POs. They are also prohibited performing any regulated activity, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market licensee under the the Securities and Futures Act.

Financial advisers teamed up

Mike Chew Jun Yong and Priscilla Tien Ling, both former representatives of Manulife Financial Advisers, are each prohibited for six years.

Chew and Tian were colleagues, and over a period of almost a year, they conspired with a chiropractor to cheat Manulife Singapore. The chiropractor referred patients from his clinic to Chew and Tien, who would then sell Manulife personal accident policies to these patients.

They facilitated claims for the cost of the patients’ chiropractic treatments by falsely stating that their clients had only sustained injuries and sought such treatments after the policies had come into effect. In doing so, they deceived Manulife into disbursing payments of $1,750 and $3,700 respectively.

Chew was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment and Tien was sentenced to 8 months’ imprisonment.

Chew and Tien are both banned from providing any financial advisory service or taking part in the management of, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the Financial Advisers Act over the periods of their POs. They are also prohibited from carrying on business as, or taking part in the management of, any insurance intermediary under the Insurance Act.

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