Cheat jailed 10 years for $6.6m investment ruse

SINGAPORE - A former travel agency director who pocketed around $6.6 million after persuading her customers to join dodgy "investment schemes" was jailed for 10 years on Friday.

Brenda Ng Lay Yen, 33, convinced clients to hand over money by promising them high returns.

She claimed the "investments" involved diamonds, oil or theme park tickets and issued cheques to reassure people that their funds were in safe hands.

But when her victims tried to cash them at the banks, they were told the accounts had all been closed.

Only about $2.3 million was recovered.

Ng pleaded guilty last month to cheating, theft, criminal breach of trust and forging cheques.

On Friday, District Judge Soh Tze Bian said her offences - which took place between 2009 and last year - were "premeditated and calculated". He said she carried out her scams in a creative way, using her company's cheques to lend an air of legitimacy to the investment schemes.

She even paid victims what she claimed were profits to entice them to pump in more cash.

But the judge noted that she acted alone and was not part of a syndicate. Her jail term was backdated to Jan 13 last year, when she was remanded in custody.

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