Man cheats property buyers of $1.8m

A 39-year-old salesman was recently sentenced to seven years and two months in jail for cheating 21 victims of almost $1.8 million, reported The New Paper.

Posing as a lawyer to trick his victims, Sim Tee Peng pleaded guilty to 23 charges, including theft, cheating, giving false information and forgery. The court also took into consideration 41 more charges against him. He was also sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail on charges of counterfeiting stamp duties in property transactions.

Notably, he collected stamp duty payments as well as other conveyancing-related fees from property buyers, supposedly on behalf of four law firms.

Sim was able to collect between $17,088 and $312,000 from each victim between June 2011 and September 2012. He told the property buyers to deposit the payments into his personal account or the bank account of his company.

The director of general wholesale firm WW Hub, Sim worked as a paralegal and had four years of conveyancing experience. However, he did not have a valid practising certificate and was not formally employed by the law firms.

Sim would present his victims with fake documents, like false invoices using the letterheads of law firms or copies of unissued personal cheques. He also forged stamp certificates to trick a law firm into reimbursing him.

Sim used his ill-gotten wealth to purchase a BMW 5 Series car, which he drove using an expired vehicle licence plate number.

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