SINGAPORE - Managing partner of JLC Advisors law firm, Jeffrey Ong Su Aun, who is allegedly linked to missing monies totalling more than $33 million, has been arrested and is now facing a cheating charge.
The 41-year-old Singaporean lawyer was caught in Malaysia and was taken back to Singapore on May 30.
He was charged with one count of cheating on June 1 in a Singapore district court.
On Feb 19, Ong allegedly deceived CCJ Investments into believing that Suite Development had entered into a loan agreement with it.
He is then said to have dishonestly induced CCJ Investments to disburse a sum of $6 million.
According to court documents, some $3.3 million was then used to refinance Suite Development's mortgage loan and about $2.7 million was deposited into JLC Advisors' client's account.
A search on Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) website revealed that Suite Development is a real estate developer which was registered on Sept 16, 2010.
There was no information on CCJ Investments on the Acra portal.
More than $33 million had been held in escrow by JLC Advisors for client Allied Technologies and the monies went missing last month.
Ong later became uncontactable.
Escrows are an essential service in capital markets that support transactions such as mergers and acquisitions.
Following this incident, the Law Society may consider introducing rules and guidelines for operating escrow accounts after it completes its probe on JLC Advisors.
Court documents did not reveal how Allied Technologies was linked to CCJ Investments and Suite Development.
On Thursday (June 6), Ong, who was unrepresented, appeared in court via video link from Central Police Division.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Khoo told the court that the Commercial Affairs Department has since conducted two raids related to the case.
Ong is now in remand and will be back in court on June 13.
In a statement on Thursday evening, police said that a report about the case was lodged on May 21.
They added: "The police subsequently sought the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to locate and arrest Jeffrey Ong, who had left Singapore before investigations commenced.
"With the co-operation and assistance of the RMP, Jeffrey Ong was arrested and brought back to Singapore on May 30. "
The police said that they are unable to comment further as the case is now before the courts.
If convicted of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.