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After a Singapore gambling scam, a Chinese national is sentenced to prison

A Chinese individual who duped two people out of millions of dollars in Singapore was recently sentenced to 12 years in jail. During her sentencing, the presiding judge described Wu Hong, 41, as a "heartless con artist" who ran a phoney investment scheme she said her victims would assist Chinese gamblers visiting the country.

Wu appeared in court this week for her sentencing. She was found guilty of five counts of fraud. Each fraud charge included a possible prison sentence of ten years and monetary fines.

In 2013, Wu met her first victim, Tam Kwong Yoeng, in a pub. It would be another three years before she began the fraud, which included a 61-year-old victim named Soh Choon Heong.

According to The Strait Times, Wu persuaded her victims to pay her money for investments between 2016 and 2019. Tam lost more than SGD1.4 million (US$1.05 million) throughout the swindle. Soh allegedly earned SGD734,000 (US$550,133). Soh also received contributions from friends, including well-known media stars.

When Wu failed to deliver any results, they became increasingly sceptical.

Gambling Investing

The plan entailed a story about gambling on behalf of unnamed Chinese gamblers, for which the investors would receive massive returns. Tam stated that he had been utterly duped by Wu, willingly handing up the money because he had complete faith in her. He never asked for a receipt, and even when he became suspicious, he handed over additional cash.

Tam didn't take action till his patience had run out. In 2018, he began recording his chats with Wu and turned them over to authorities. An investigation was launched at the time, but no action was taken.

Authorities did not interfere until February 2020, when Soh filed her own accusations. She was arrested not long after.

Wu initially alleged in court that the pair were attempting to frame her.

Loot Box Lust

Fraudsters frequently employ the allure of gaming to devise fraudulent schemes. What is uncommon is for a 16-year-old to have the financial means to do so.

That is the case of an anonymous 16-year-old Singaporean who defrauded his buddies. He informed them that he had a lot of money in cryptocurrency investments and that he could assist them in doing the same.

He persuaded his buddies to give him SGD330,000 (US$248,884), which he spent on online gambling and video game loot boxes. That was five years ago, and the scammer only recently appeared in court to answer for his crimes.

He was initially charged with 84 counts, but pleaded guilty to three. Because of his age, he only served a few of years in prison, avoiding the maximum penalty that could have been imposed.



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