Man on trial for stealing $52,000 from girlfriend after moving in with her

SINGAPORE - A man who moved in with his girlfriend to take care of her allegedly stole around $52,000 from her by stealing and using her ATM and credit cards, a district court heard on Friday (Oct 4).

Marcus Kong Wei Keong is accused of 32 counts of theft for stealing from his ex-girlfriend, Ms Felicia Lee Yen Pheng, who was suffering from severe eczema.

He also faces another 21 charges for offences under the Computer Misuse Act, related to unauthorised fund transfers made from Ms Lee's accounts to his own.

Kong, whose age and occupation were not stated in available court papers, is also accused of giving a false statement to a police officer. He allegedly denied knowing how money was transferred from Ms Lee's accounts to his.

On the first day of the trial, Deputy Public Prosecutor Edwin Soh said in his opening statement that Kong had offered to move in with Ms Lee around May 2015, so that he could "take care" of her.

"However, the accused abused Felicia's trust and stole various credit and ATM cards belonging to her," said DPP Soh, according to court documents.

Kong allegedly used her cards to withdraw monies. He is also accused of transferring funds from Ms Lee's accounts to his own.

But Ms Lee only found out about the unauthorised transactions when she was unable to buy a product using her credit card as she had reached her card's credit limit, said DPP Soh.

"This spurred her to make further inquiries and discover the unauthorised transactions," he said.

Even after she asked Kong to move out in February 2016, Ms Lee allegedly received phone calls from loan sharks who demanded that she settle Kong's debts for him.

Because of his actions, Ms Lee's savings were depleted, said DPP Soh.

Kong is contesting these charges, and is representing himself in the trial, which will continue next week.

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