Singapore – a housewife who ran a Ponzi 2010-2010 program and 53 cheated 53 people of more than 35 million dollars in total jailed for 14 years.
The Lai Lai has preyed on its victims to believe that it will use the funds they have invested to buy "distressed assets" and sell them to profit.
A distressed property is usually the result of a landlord who is unable to keep up with his mortgage. Such assets are usually sold below market value.
The court heard that Leung, 55, also told her victims that she would use their investments to fund start-ups and reap "profitable monthly returns." However, it did not use the funds of its victims for their intended purposes.
"In reality, Leung will use funds collected from the newer victims to compensate her former victims, while enjoying the proceeds of the crime," Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Cheney said.
She was sentenced on Friday (May 17) to 14 years in prison after admitting to 50 charges of fraud and one dealing with the benefits of her criminal activities. Another 806 counts were considered during the sentencing.
Straits Times realizes that Leung was once a real estate agent, but she was no longer one when she committed the offenses.
From January 2010 to May 2015, she told her victims that she was buying distressed properties in the first districts of Singapore from sellers on the verge of bankruptcy.
She also told her victims that she had dealt with investments of such assets for many years and claimed that she had "internal knowledge" due to her alleged association with a banker and lawyer.
In addition, the defendant told the victims that she would be selling these assets to her willing pool of foreign buyers who were eager to invest in Singapore properties at higher prices, The gap between the prices will therefore be the profits that the victims earn. "
In 2014, she ran another trick in which some of her victims reported funding start-ups.
She then invited them to invest money with her, promising a monthly yield of 7 percent to 9 percent.
In her Ponzi scheme, she encouraged her victims to increase their investments with her. She also encouraged them to refer others to her money plants.
"Therefore, some of the investors have introduced their relatives and friends to participate in the Ponzi scheme of the defendants, the defendant also persuaded some victims to strengthen their gold items or withdraw their CPF funds to invest with them," the DPP added.
In 2015, the Department of Commerce Affairs (CAD) received police reports filed by the complainants against Leung.
But she left for Thailand on May 15 of that year, before the CAD began its investigation into her affairs.
The court later heard that the money ran out and surrendered at the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok on November 2, 2017. She was arrested when she returned to Singapore two days later.
On Friday, DPP. Chen called on District Court Judge Hamid Ibrahim to carve Leung at least 14 to 15 years in prison, stressing that she did not reply.
Defense counsel Tito Isaac, on the other hand, begged his client to be given between eight and nine years in prison. He also told the judge that Leung had "a lot of remorse."
For each count of cheating, she could imprison up to 10 years and fined.