Serial cheat conned dozen of $62,000 in cash and goods

Serial cheat conned dozen of $62,000 in cash and goods

A serial cheat who duped around a dozen people of almost $62,000 in cash and goods through various scams was jailed for three years and two months yesterday.

Chua Ting Zhen committed 44 offences over 11/2 years - soon after her release in January 2013 from a 15-month jail term for cheating. It took just two months before the 27-year-old went back to her old ways.

Her victims were each cheated of between $500 and $17,700. Only two got back their money of $500 each.

Chua, who worked as an operator in a logistics company, concocted a broad range of scams involving areas such as investments, rentals, car insurance, car repair and employment. She used the money to pay off her debts.

She first met one of her victims, 35-year-old Tan Yen Ling, on a website called Tagged.

Chua told her that a friend was renting a condominium at Lakeshore. Chua claimed she needed a loan of $1,800 to take over the rental as the friend was going overseas.

She told Ms Tan they could subsequently lease the apartment to other people to earn money.

She also tricked Ms Tan into delivering $4,000 for an investment plan; loaning $6,000 to pay for car insurance; and $3,000 as part of the cost of changing the spare parts of Chua's car.

Another victim, Mr Goh Boon Yong, 29, whom she met on Facebook, was deceived into depositing $4,000 into her Maybank account for an investment plan that promised high profits.

She also lied to Mr Goh that she owned a bridal shop at Takashimaya and wanted to hire him.

She told him he would need to apply for two mobile phone lines for the shop's use and the company would pay for the monthly subscription fees. He signed up two contracts for two phones worth $1,986.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tow Chew Chi labelled Chua a "persistent, habitual and serial offender" who planned her scams and tricked her victims out of a large amount of money.

The offences occurred between March 2013 and September last year. Police arrested her at a coffee shop in Bangkit Road in Bukit Panjang on Oct 19 last year. A Maybank card and a Citibank Visa card belonging to a man were seized from her.

She said all the money she took from her victims was handed to her boyfriend. She could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined on each charge.

This article was first published on April 8, 2015.
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