12-13 Year Jail Term Sought for Keppel Club Scammer 

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Setho Oi Lin, 71, former personal assistant to Keppel Club’s general manager, is set to pay $3.65 million as restitution for funds she scammed for over a decade. Additionally, a jail term of 12-13 years for Ms. Setho is being sought by the prosecution, who have proven that Ms. Setho received more than ten million dollars in illegal payments since 2004.

Ms. Setho, who also goes by the name of Setho Irene, conned 1,341 men and women to the tune of  $37.5 million from fake memberships. But because of the restitution amount settled last Friday, March 16, a shorter jail term for Ms. Setho is now sought by the prosecutors.

Hon Yi, the Deputy Public Prosecutor, had originally asked for a sentence lasting at least 15 years. He claimed that since Ms. Setho’s crime involved premeditation and since it was wide-ranging in magnitude, plus, allowing for the huge amount of money she has collected, the longer sentence was just. He further pointed out Ms. Sotho’s abuse of her position, and how carefully she made sure her illegal collections would remain hidden from view. Mr. Hon believes that she actually received an amount greater than the $10.5 million that the prosecution was able to prove.

Due to Ms. Setho’s elderly age, poor health, as well as the restitution settlement, her lawyers are asking for just a seven-year jail sentence.  Ms. Setho is allegedly ill with spinal ailments that cause her to rely on others for daily activities, including walking and bathing. Aside from this, she has hypertension and diabetes. According to medical reports, she will not be able to survive a jail sentence of ten years or longer, which is the reason why her lawyers are asking for a shorter sentence for her.

Ms. Setho pleaded guilty to sixty counts of cheating in December 2017. Her modus operandi was to tell interested parties that club memberships were available for transfer, and had them pay through certain individuals, instead of directly to the club. These individuals included a friend of Ms. Sotho, as well as their family members. Afterwards, the “new members” would be issued cards, after a supervisor entered their data into the club’s database.

On November 30, 2017, Ivy Cheo Soh Chin, 67, a member of Keppel Club, and Nah Hak Chuah, 67, who had been the club’s membership department supervisor, pleased guilty for their participation in the scam. These two were Ms. Setho’s accomplices. Nah Hak Chuah was sentenced to a three year prison stint for falsified entries into Keppel Club’s records, while Ms. Cheo was sentenced to four and a half years in jail for money laundering. She is a friend of Ms. Setho’s.

The charges against Ms. Setho showed that “new members” paid between $26,500 and $41,500 for the false memberships. Ms. Cheo, along with her mother, daughter and brother in law, received these payments for Ms. Setho, who had been working at the Keppel Club for almost 50 years, having started there in 1966 as a general clerk. She rose in the ranks over the years.

On August 13, 2014, the general manager of the club submitted a police report, alleging that Ms. Setho had stolen money from potential members by telling them to purchase memberships from “phantom buyers” and having them make third party payments.

This type of crime could cause perpetrators up to ten years in jail, as well as paying fines for every charge. For Ms. Setho’s case, she will receive her sentence on March 26.

Netizens clamored for the rule of law to be followed despite Ms. Setho’s age and infirmities.

 

Others wondered about the rest of the amount Ms. Setho stole

Still others wondered why Keppel Club was faced with this problem