Tall tales land scam artist in jail

Tall tales land scam artist in jail

From cheap gold to bargain branded bags and boasts of knowing a "minister mentor", scam artist Kalimah Osman dangled a variety of lures.

With her tall tales and fake promises, Kalimah cheated three victims of a total of $24,590 within six months.

But the 56-year-old's trail of lies ended in court on Wednesday, when she pleaded guilty to cheating and was jailed 11 months.

A district court heard that she lied to Madam Zaiton Jantan, 57, about knowing a gold dealer who offered attractive discounts.

The housewife pawned her gold jewellery for $19,040 and handed the money to Kalimah to buy the discounted gold. It was all a ruse. Kalimah, who has been jobless for the last 10 years, blew the money on personal expenses.

She also offered branded bags at very low prices to Madam Zaiton's 32-year-old daughter and cheated her of $1,700.

And she misappropriated two bags worth a total of $3,000 from the daughter on the pretext of exchanging them for new models.

The next victim was a woman with whom she attended religious classes at a Changi Road mosque.

Kalimah told Madam Zakiah Mohamed Ariff, 60, that her husband was working in "Interpol" and had been assigned to take care of a "minister mentor". She also lied that the minister had given her family eight OCBC Bank "shares".

She promised the housewife that a $1,000 investment in the share would earn $3,000 in profit every quarter. The woman handed her $850 - as Kalimah owed her $150 - but ended up being cheated.

In passing sentence, District Judge Liew Thiam Leng noted that no restitution had been made.

Kalimah could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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