SINGAPORE - He did not profit financially from the transaction, nor was he involved in corruption.
But former National Parks Board (NParks) assistant director Bernard Lim Yong Soon was fined $5,000 yesterday and lost his job for trying to help a friend's business and then lying about their relationship.
The 42-year-old, who tipped off bicycle firm Bikehop director Lawrence Lim Chun How about an upcoming tender to buy 26 Brompton bicycles, was found guilty last month of lying to auditors about their relationship.
Bikehop ended up being the sole bidder and won the $57,200 deal in 2012 which, months later, came under close public scrutiny.
When probed, Lim had told investigators different versions of his story on his first meeting with Mr Lawrence Lim in 2012.
But the duo had, in fact, met in 2011 and "evidently bonded very closely" at a cycling event, said District Judge Marvin Bay.
He said Lim had "acted with gross impropriety", adding that Lim also told the Bikehop director to "unfriend" him on Facebook and not to reveal their relationship to anyone after news of the pricey bikes broke.
On top of being fined, Lim could also have been jailed for up to a year.
Even though he was not thrown in prison, he was given the sack. A spokesman for NParks said yesterday: "In view of the court's decision, Mr Bernard Lim has been dismissed with immediate effect."
Judge Bay noted yesterday that the excitement of promoting Brompton bicycles could have got the better of Lim, causing him "to lose his sense of perspective". He added that the price NParks paid for the bicycle - $2,200 each - was "not excessive".