Top Lawyers Among Victims of Singapore’s Biggest Alleged Investment Fraud
(Bloomberg) -- Top legal professionals are among people who fell for Singapore’s biggest alleged investment fraud, as the unraveling scandal reveals more high-profile victims.
Pek Siok Lan, general counsel for state-owned investor Temasek International, and Thio Shen Yi, joint managing partner of TSMP Law Corporation, are named in new charge sheets against Singapore businessman Ng Yu Zhi, who has been prosecuted for allegedly raising funds from investors for nickel trades that didn’t exist. Sunil Sudheesan, a director specialized in criminal cases with Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC, and technology startup investor Finian Tan are also among the victims who were allegedly cheated.
Ng was accused of an additional 13 charges on Monday, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg News. He was charged with cheating nine individuals and three corporate entities out of at least S$83 million ($61.8 million) in connection with Envy Global Trading Pte.’s purported forward contracts for the sale of nickel, when there were no such forward contracts, according to the sheets.
In the case that has riveted Singapore’s moneyed classes, Ng was first charged in March for allegedly raising at least S$1 billion in what authorities have called one of the city-state’s largest-ever suspected investment fraud schemes. In five years through to 2021, Ng’s companies received fresh funds from investors of about S$1.46 billion, according to an interim judicial managers’ report in May seen by Bloomberg.
Ng was also charged with a criminal breach of trust by “dishonestly misappropriating a sum of at least S$201 million” from Envy Global Trading’s DBS Bank account, the documents show.
Declining to comment on the Ng and Envy case specifically due to the ongoing investigations, a representative for DBS said the bank maintains “robust systems and controls to identify and report suspicious transactions. We cooperate fully with law enforcement efforts, and this includes account freezing and property seizures.”
Tan, who founded Vickers Venture Partners, said in a response to Bloomberg queries that he is the nominee for his and his partners’ investments in the receivable financing of Envy Global Trading. “It is one of over 60 investments that we have exposure to as part of our overall diversification strategy,” he said. Tan’s entanglement in the scheme was previously reported by Bloomberg News.
Sudheesan declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigations, while Pek and Thio didn’t respond to emails for comment.
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