24 months' jail for property agent in rental scam

A property agent who cheated 26 victims in a rental scam was sentenced to 24 months' jail yesterday.

Goh Tzan En, 49, faced a total of 27 charges of cheating involving $91,474. That included duping a 59-year-old Singaporean into believing he had to pay an extra $5,000 to buy an Housing Board flat in Jurong West Avenue 1.

Goh admitted to nine counts, with the remaining 18 taken into consideration during sentencing.

A district court heard that most of the victims cheated by Goh, who was then working at ERA Realty, were foreigners who had responded to online rental advertisements. They met Goh and signed rental agreements.

He deceived them into believing that he had secured the units, when he knew they had actually been rented out to other tenants.

Goh tricked them into handing over cash for various fees such as advance rental payments, security deposits, stamp fees and agents' fees.

When the victims eventually could not move in, he gave various excuses and promised to refund them their money. But he never did and could not be contacted.

He had paid back $1,500, the court heard.

Get MyPaper for more stories.