Man cheats father and brother to gamble

Man cheats father and brother to gamble

When he needed money to gamble, he targeted victims to cheat.

He found two - his twin brother and father.

Between last December and February, Nicholas Tian Weijie, 28, dishonestly used his father's credit cards and brother's chequebooks and went on a spending spree.

In those two months, he spent $36,850 on at least 14 iPhones of various models, movie tickets, food and IT products.

He was initially arrested in January after a mobile shop employee suspected Tian of using someone else's credit card and called the police.

But as soon as he was bailed out by a friend, Tian committed more crimes, dishonestly spending even more than before using his father's credit cards, the court heard.

Yesterday, Tian was jailed 27 months for 99 offences, including 64 charges of cheating, seven charges of criminal misappropriation of property and four charges of theft in dwelling.

The prosecution proceeded with 16 of the charges.

Tian was living with his father and twin brother at their HDB flat in Pasir Ris in December last year when he stole an OCBC credit card from his father's bag and used it to buy two iPhone 5Ss.

On another occasion in January, he impersonated his father and phoned OCBC's customer service hotline, claiming to have lost his credit card.

When the replacement card arrived in the mail, Tian used it to buy six iPhone 5Ss, worth about $6,000, from Lucky Plaza.

TNP understands that Tian later sold the iPhones for money to feed his gambling habit.

The court also heard that in December last year, Tian had entered the flat's study room when his family members were asleep and stole his twin's UOB chequebook.

He stole three more chequebooks from his twin that month.

FORGED SIGNATURE

He forged his brother's signature on nine cheques and withdrew $12,500 from his brother's bank accounts using seven of them. On Jan 3, Tian's brother made a police report about the unauthorised withdrawals.

After he was arrested and then released on bail on Jan 16, Tian continued using his father's credit cards, causing losses of about $17,200.

TNP understands Tian's father was constantly travelling and did not realise his son was using his credit cards.

Court papers said Tian did not make any restitution to his family members, none of whom were in court yesterday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Tan pointed out that Tian had disregarded the law, even committing offences while out on bail.

In mitigation, Tian, who was unrepresented, said he was remorseful and pleaded for a lenient sentence.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said Tian's offences were very serious because it involved the financial sector.

rloh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 03, 2014.
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