Former CEO falsified accounts and cheated bank of $2.6m

Former CEO falsified accounts and cheated bank of $2.6m
45-year-old Chew Soo Chun recorded ficitious transactions in Chew Yak Mong-Synerpac's books and used fake documents to secure about $2.6 million in loans from OCBC Bank.

The former chief executive officer of a ship equipment supplier was sentenced to 32 months in jail and fined $10,000 yesterday for falsifying its accounts and cheating a bank of more than $2.5 million in loans.

Chew Soo Chun, 45, recorded fictitious transactions in Chew Yak Mong-Synerpac's books, overstating its sales revenue and gross profits for the financial periods between late 2005 and late 2006 by as much as 65 per cent.

He also used fake documents to secure about $2.6 million in loans from OCBC Bank.

The offences were uncovered by accountants after the firm, which was facing money problems, handed over management of its assets in 2007.

Chew and the firm still owe the bank more than $930,000, according to court papers.

He cannot make full restitution as he is an undischarged bankrupt, his lawyers said in his mitigation. He had also negotiated unsuccessfully for a settlement with the bank.

Chew pleaded guilty in 2012 to 10 of 149 charges against him. The rest of the charges were taken into consideration yesterday during sentencing.

The sentencing was delayed because of his numerous health issues, which the judge considered when deciding the punishment.

The charges comprised falsifying accounts, cheating, using forged documents, and two offences under the Companies Act.

Chew Yak Mong-Synerpac was registered in Singapore in 1997 as a private limited company, and it went public in June 2005.

It was listed on the Australian stock exchange two months later, but was delisted in February 2007.

The court heard that Chew had made the decision to list the firm in Australia.

Bogus sales invoices were generated to create the impression of high sales turnover so that the firm could boost investor confidence and OCBC would continue to lend it money.

Chew will begin serving his sentence on March 2, after District Judge Soh Tze Bian granted his request to celebrate Chinese New Year first.

The maximum penalty for falsifying accounts is 10 years' jail and a fine. Chew could have faced the same punishment for each count of cheating OCBC.

This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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