Couple jailed total of 124 months for hoodwinking victims in talisman scam
Couple jailed total of 124 months for hoodwinking victims in talisman scam
Couple jailed total of 124 months for hoodwinking victims in talisman scam

Couple jailed total of 124 months for hoodwinking victims in talisman scam


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BY AMANDA LEE amanda.lee@mediacorp.com.sgPUBLISHED: 9:00 PM, JULY 24, 2017 SINGAPORE – An elderly couple who swindled victims of more than S$800,000 over 10 years, by selling talismans touted to have “special powers”, was sentenced to jail on Monday (July 24) by a district court judge. Ng Kim Yew, 62, was sentenced to 69 months’ jail, while her husband Ong Choon Lin, 67, was sentenced to 55 months’ jail. They were each convicted of 20 charges, involving three victims, of abetment by conspiring to cheat from 2005 to October 2015. The judge took into consideration 23 charges in sentencing Ng and 18 charges in sentencing Ong. The total amount involved in Ng’s case was S$816,868, while that for Ong was S$734,068. During the 23-day trial, the court heard that the couple cheated three victims, who cannot be identified, of S$486, 268. The victims thought the talismans they had purchased from Ng were personally handwritten by a “powerful and exalted spiritual master” from Thailand or Tibet. In reality, it was Ong who had written on the talismans. The three victims had gone to Ng for fortune-telling and confided their personal problems and goals in her. Ng – who gambled away part of her ill-gotten gains at the Marina Bay Sands casino – said they could “fix” their problems and achieve their goals by buying personalised talismans. She told them the talismans were written on, drawn and chanted over by an old Thai spiritual master. In one case, Ng said a talisman was written on, drawn, and chanted over by a Tibetan spiritual master. Ng claimed that they were her spiritual masters and that the talismans were imbued with special powers. The victims believed her and parted with sums ranging from hundreds of dollars to S$38,800 for each talisman. After buying the more expensive talismans, the victims received “annual letters” supposedly written by Ng’s Thai grandmaster. Ng lied that the grandmaster had personally written the letters to inform them of their fortunes for the following lunar year. Deputy Public Prosecutor Charis Low urged the court to jail Ng for 72 months and Ong for 60 months. She said the couple had “committed multiple breaches of… trust”. Ng emotionally manipulated her victims and displayed “architectural planning” in the scam, said Ms Low. District Judge Lee-Khoo Poh Choo agreed with the prosecution that there were aggravating factors. Mrs Lee-Khoo said the elderly couple had “hoodwinked followers”. Calling it a “clever scam”, the judge noted the couple had cultivated a good relationship with the victims and exploited their insecurity. http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/couple-jailed-total-124-months-hoodwinking-victims-talisman-scam


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