Ex-financial planner accused of cheating clients by forging documents

PHOTO: Pixabay/Arek Socha

A former financial planner who allegedly cheated seven clients by forging documents and misrepresenting insurance policies has been charged in court, the police said yesterday.

The clients lost more than $22,000 in policy premiums that were already paid.

Stedtson Koh, 33, was charged with 14 offences. Seven charges were for cheating, and seven for forgery for the purpose of cheating.

Before 2013, Koh sold Prudential insurance savings plans to the seven clients while working at a major local bank.

In 2013, he left Prudential to join another insurance company, Manulife, as a financial planner.

Koh then contacted the same seven clients, and sold them investment-linked policies (ILPs) offered by his new company.

However, he misrepresented the policies to them, stating that the policy value of his customers' existing savings plans from Prudential would be brought over to the Manulife ILPs, when this was not true.

As a cover-up, Koh forged various documents to create the impression that the policy values of their savings plans were transferred over to their new ILPs.

Believing the documents, the seven clients stopped paying premiums for their Prudential plans, which eventually lapsed.

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In total, more than $22,000 worth of premiums paid to Prudential were forfeited because the plans lapsed.

Koh was offered bail of $15,000 and his case has been adjourned to Jan 2 next year.

Offenders who are convicted of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.

Those who are found guilty of committing forgery for the purpose of cheating can also be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.