Former A*Star employee jailed 28 months for forgery

A MAN with a doctorate in cryptology, who forged documents to obtain credit cards and credit facilities for the fictitious people he created, was jailed for 28 months yesterday.

Australian Peng Kun, who is a Singapore permanent resident, fleeced financial institutions of a total of $67,664 over a five-month period last year.

Peng, unemployed, was a researcher with A*Star Agency for six years before he decided to cheat financial institutions around March last year.

He admitted to 21 of 132 charges of forgery for the purpose of cheating.

The court heard that he forged documents such as Central Providend Fund contribution statements and identity cards.

He created fictitious individuals by photo-shopping photos he downloaded from the Internet onto his NRIC and made the necessary amendments to his NRIC to pass off the fake identity cards as belonging to fictitious people.

He also forged documents for himself to dupe the financial institutions into providing him with credit cards and credit facilities under his own name.

Once the credit cards and credit facilities were approved, Peng used the money to pay for flight tickets, restaurant bills and jewellery. He also transferred money to his and his wife's personal bank accounts.

He made partial restitution of $15,000.

His lawyer, Desmond Tan, said in mitigation that Peng, who is married with a one-year-old son, studied for his PhD in Australia on a scholarship. He became a permanent resident in Australia in 2004, and a citizen three years later. He was offered a job with A*Star in 2007 and worked until November 2013 when his contract was not renewed.

Peng could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge.

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