Man, 61, faces 693 charges for swindling $40m

Man, 61, faces 693 charges for swindling $40m

A 61-year-old accountant was charged yesterday with misappropriating more than $40 million from 21 companies.

Ewe Pang Kooi, a managing partner of Ewe, Loke & Partners, who is a licensed liquidator, had been tasked to liquidate the companies.

He now faces 693 charges involving criminal breach of trust, forgery, making false declarations, transferring proceeds of criminal conduct, cheating and using the benefits from the criminal conduct.

The majority of the money that Ewe had allegedly taken was to feed his gambling habit and to pay off creditors.

The offences were said to have occurred between February 2002 and July 2012.

From 2009 to July 2012, Ewe had allegedly misappropriated $17.3 million and US$147,000 (S$196,000) from six of the Hewlett Packard (HP) subsidiaries which he was liquidating.

Another $11.9 million was said to have been misappropriated while liquidating 15 other companies.

On May 22, 2010, Ewe was said to have used $172,195 to "cash-in" for gambling chips at Marina Bay Sands.

He is also accused of cheating a man of $1 million in an investment venture which did not take place.

He also had allegedly made 236 false declarations to a commissioner of oaths, pertaining to the companies he was liquidating.

The case became known when Ewe supposedly delayed and declined to convene the final meetings for one HP subsidiary in order to pay out dividends.

Ewe is represented by Mr Peter Doraisamy, who later told reporters he would study the charges closely to decide on the next course of action.

Ewe's case will next be heard in the State Courts on Feb 5.

BAIL

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hon Yi said he would be writing to the High Court to have the matter transferred there, in light of the amount involved.

As he is unable to raise the $4 million bail, Ewe has been remanded in Changi Prison. A bail review hearing will take place today. If found guilty, Ewe can be fined a maximum of $500,000 and jailed a maximum 10 years.

zaihan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Jan 15, 2015.
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