International Business & Economy Prominent SG lawyers, including Temasek counsel, victimised by a trader who built...

Prominent SG lawyers, including Temasek counsel, victimised by a trader who built his fortune on lies

When your crimes stop paying you, you start paying for your crimes.

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Singapore — More victims in the scam of trader Ng Yu Zhi have been named, including top figures in the country’s legal community.

A Jun 28 report from Bloomberg and Reuters, counts the general counsel for state-owned investor Temasek International, Ms Pek Siok Lan, and the joint managing partner of TSMP Law Corporation, Mr Thio Shen Yi, among the high-profile victims of Ng.

Other prominent victims include technology start-up investor Mr Finian Tan; and a director who specialises in criminal cases with Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC, Mr Sunil Sudheesan.

The disgraced trader, 34, faced another 13 charges on Monday, Jun 28. He is now being charged with cheating nine persons and three firms out of at least S$83 million in connection with the alleged forward contracts of Envy Global Trading for the sale of nickel when no such contracts ever existed. 

Ng was the managing director of Envy Global Trading and Envy Asset Management, which have been under investigation by the police for some time now.

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The trader also faces a charge of criminal breach of trust though “dishonestly misappropriating a sum of at least S$201 million” from Envy Global Trading’s DBS Bank account, Bloomberg and Reuters report court documents as showing. 

He now faces a total of 31 charges.

Once known as a ‘wunderkind’ trader, news of the charges against Ng was first reported in Mar in a record $1 billion fraud case for nonexistent commodity trades.

The high-flying trader allegedly spent the money on a Pagani HuayRa supercar, a three-story villa, and other such luxuries. 

According to the police, this is one of Singapore’s biggest suspected investment fraud schemes. It is also only the latest in a row of scandals, including oil giant Hin Leong. 

Even though there is little known about Ng’s transactions, court proceedings show that he gained investors’ trust by claiming average quarterly gains of 15 per cent, which Bloomberg wrote rivalled the performance of the best hedge fund managers around the globe.

Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department seized S$100 million of assets from Ng, including the Pagani Huayra supercar, which is valued at between S$7 million and S$8 million; as well as his Porsche 911 GT3.

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Bloomberg reports that Ng and his lawyer have not responded to requests for comment, and neither has the trader spoken publicly about the charges he’s facing.

Should he be found guilty, he will spend as much as seven years in jail for every charge related to fraudulent trading, as well as ten years for every cheating charge. For the charge of criminal breach of trust, he could be jailed for as long as 20 years. /TISG

Read also: SG trader linked to billion-dollar fraud additionally charged with forging bank documents 

SG trader linked to billion-dollar fraud additionally charged with forging bank documents 

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