Man falsely put up his flat on Carousell for rent and collected S$17,250 from 8 victims, gets jail
SINGAPORE: Struggling with paying the bills, a Shopee delivery driver decided to cheat interested tenants of cash by listing his flat on Carousell for rent. Lee Chee Tiong, 41, collected more than S$17,000 in rent from eight victims who were urgently seeking for a place to stay, without
Lee was given 10 months' jail on Tuesday (Jan 18) for his crimes. He pleaded guilty to three cheating offences, with another five charges taken into consideration.Several people responded to his ad. One of them, an Indian national living with his wife and daughter, asked to view the unit.
Lee said he would submit the details to the Housing Board for registration the next day, and that it would take three working days to process.Lee later made partial restitution of S$1,200 to this victim in December 2021 and January this year. However, he did not make restitution to any of his other victims.Read more: CNA »
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LinkedIn SINGAPORE: Struggling with paying the bills, a Shopee delivery driver decided to cheat interested tenants of cash by listing his flat on Carousell for rent.Eventually, another youth who was not part of the group tried to cheat some of them of their lucre and all were nabbed.Posted on 17 January 2022 | 355 views | 0 comments Shaffiq Alkhatib The Straits Times Jan 14, 2022 A woman unlawfully exploited Government-related initiatives amid the Covid-19 pandemic and duped the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) into disbursing $2,900 in total.Cherlynn Ng Posted on 17 January 2022 | 266 views | 0 comments Two men, aged 26 and 28, have been charged in court for their suspected involvement in a stabbing at Block 413 Commonwealth Avenue West.
Lee Chee Tiong, 41, collected more than S$17,000 in rent from eight victims who were urgently seeking for a place to stay, without leasing his home to them at all. Lee was given 10 months' jail on Tuesday (Jan 18) for his crimes. A third similar charge will be taken into consideration for sentencing on March 8. He pleaded guilty to three cheating offences, with another five charges taken into consideration. On Friday (Jan 14), the 37-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to a year in jail after she pleaded guilty to two counts each of cheating and attempted cheating. The court heard that Lee earned more than S$3,000 a month as a delivery driver and stayed with his wife in a flat in Bedok. This does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences. After facing financial problems, he listed an advertisement on Carousell offering to rent out his unit in Bedok North Avenue 2 for S$1,550 per month. "Both men fled the scene thereafter.
Several people responded to his ad. He currently works as a delivery courier. The court heard that the two initiatives - the Temporary Relief Fund (TRF) and the Covid-19 Support Grant (CSG) - had been rolled out to provide financial help to Singaporeans and permanent residents affected by the pandemic. One of them, an Indian national living with his wife and daughter, asked to view the unit. Lee let the family view his flat, before getting the victim to sign a written rental agreement he had prepared. He provided them with his bank card details as well as the one-time passwords that were sent to him. The victim transferred S$3,000 to Lee on Jan 19 last year via PayNow for the security deposit and one month's rent. Zarifah then forged a letter, purportedly issued by the child development centre and submitted it to MSF as a supporting document. Lee said he would submit the details to the Housing Board for registration the next day, and that it would take three working days to process. These transactions were traced to four people who knew each other: Rufus Rakesh Kumar Kalaiselvan, 18 Emmanuel Raymond, 19 Kshan Pillai Ganesan Pillai, 20 Mahendra Sakkaravarthi Samraj Ahsockan, 33 The three younger men have since been sentenced to probation, while Mahendran’s case is pending before the courts. Through extensive ground enquiries and with the aid of images from police and CCTV cameras, officers from Clementi Police Division established the identity of the men and arrested them on the same day, within nine hours of the incident.
The victim repeatedly checked with Lee on the status of the registration, but Lee would give him excuses and asked for more rent in advance. Eventually, the victim asked to cancel the rental agreement and for his money to be returned. Kshan then approached Rufus for help, asking him to receive the lucre and funnel the money back to Kshan and Mahendra. The ministry was again duped into disbursing the money to her. He later lodged a police report as he found the matter to be"strange". Lee later made partial restitution of S$1,200 to this victim in December 2021 and January this year. Because Rufus’ bank account had a withdrawal limit of S$5,000, he kept this amount in his account and recruited Emmanuel to receive the remaining sum in his account. However, he did not make restitution to any of his other victims. The DPP told the court:"She knew this to be false as she never accepted Sinda's offer of employment and never attended work." Get more of Stomp's latest updates by following us on.
When Lee was interviewed by the police in February last year, he admitted that he never had any intention to rent his flat out. Rufus soon told Ravivarthan that he had the S$5,000 and asked him what to do with it. He advertised it on Carousell solely to raise money for his own use, including to repay his debts to loan sharks. He said he searched for template rental agreements on Google and printed them out for his victims to sign. GAMBLED ILL-GOTTEN MONEY AWAY However, Ravivarthan then decided to scam Rufus, and told Rufus to transfer the money to a “safer account”. The man then revealed that the supporting documents had been forged. ANXIETY AND INCONVENIENCE CAUSED TO THE VICTIMS: PROSECUTOR The prosecutor sought 10 to 12 months' jail for Lee, saying he cheated a substantial sum of S$17,250 from eight victims. "In so doing, he also caused considerable inconvenience and anxiety to them as well as their families, including young children," she said. Rufus transferred S$4,900 to the account.
Many of the victims viewed the flat with their family members and expected to move in at short notice. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to. Some of the victims did not even realise they had been cheated until the police contacted them, and were still waiting to move in, the prosecutor said. When Kshan realised he was possibly being scammed by his accomplices, he began to threaten Rufus, who grew afraid and told Ravivarthan. Defence lawyer Riko Isaac Chua asked for no more than 10 months' jail, saying his client found it"very difficult" to support his family as the sole breadwinner. Lee borrowed from licensed and unlicensed moneylenders and tried to think of ways to make payments to his creditors, said Mr Chua. Rufus then asked Ravivarthan to return the money to Kshan. "He tried to rent out his home but .
. He eventually gambled away about S$3,000 from what Rufus had transferred to his girlfriend’s account.. because of the huge response he was getting as to enquiries to rental, he then realised that he could cheat the enquirers of the money using this method," said the lawyer. Rufus then collected S$3,000 from Emmanuel and another friend, transferring this to Ravivarthan. "Obviously, he did this out of financial desperation with the feeling of needing to find ways to support his family." The judge said there was clearly a public interest in deterring such rental scams, noting that Lee even went to the extent of preparing rental agreements to deceive his victims. NOW CARING FOR ILL MOTHER Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En asked for suitability reports for both probation and reformative training to be called.
He allowed Lee to defer his sentence to Feb 8. Source: CNA/ll(zl) . In mitigation, Ravivarthan’s defence counsel Ashwin Ganapathy told the court he would be “candid” in saying that the prosecution’s submissions were not unreasonable.