Enforcement Actions
Published Date: 08 May 2020

MAS bans four individuals for fraudulent and dishonest conduct

Singapore, 8 May 2020… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders (POs) against two former bank employees and two former insurance agents for fraudulent and dishonest conduct:

Name Duration of POs
 Mr Kale Jagdish Purushottam,
former representative of Barclays Bank PLC, Singapore Branch (“Barclays”)
 25 years
 Mr Liaw Tick Kwan,
former representative of DBS Bank Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited
 10 years
 Mr Mike Chew Jun Yong,
former representative of Manulife Financial Advisers Pte Ltd
 6 years
 Ms Priscilla Tien Ling,
former representative of Manulife Financial Advisers Pte Ltd
 6 years

2     The POs were issued against these individuals following their convictions in the State Courts of Singapore for offences involving fraud and dishonesty. The court cases involving Mr Chew and Ms Tien were related, while the others were unrelated. The POs took effect from 4 May 2020.

3     Ms Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime), MAS, said: “MAS has taken action to exclude all four individuals from the financial industry, as they have abused the trust of their customers or employers for personal gain. We will not hesitate to impose prohibition orders of significant duration where the misconduct is particularly serious, as in Mr Purushottam’s case, where the offences took place over a long period and involved a large number of unauthorised transactions, causing substantial losses to his former employer and clients.”

25-year POs against Mr Kale Jagdish Purushottam

4     Mr Purushottam is prohibited for a period of 25 years from (i) providing any financial advisory service, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110) (FAA); and (ii) performing any regulated activity, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market licensee under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) (SFA). 

5     Between May 2010 and January 2013, Mr Purushottam forged signatures and banking documents to deceive Barclays into transferring about USD 10 million from three clients’ accounts to a third party for payment of his debts. He then made more illegal fund transfers from and raised unauthorised loans in the accounts of nine other clients to cover up the shortfalls in the three clients’ accounts and to pay his debts. When he received queries from the clients on the unauthorised transactions, Mr Purushottam forged documents to convince them that the transactions had been entered in error and since been reversed. He also engaged in a number of unauthorised stock and foreign exchange trades in an attempt to generate profit to reduce the loans and shortfalls in his clients’ accounts. These unauthorised trades caused further net losses of at least USD 10 million to Barclays. 

6     Mr Purushottam was convicted of forgery and cheating under the Penal Code (“PC”), and of offences under the Computer Misuse Act, and was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.

10-year POs against Mr Liaw Tick Kwan

7     Mr Liaw is prohibited for a period of 10 years from (i) providing any financial advisory service, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the FAA; and (ii) performing any regulated activity, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market licensee under the SFA.

8     Mr Liaw applied for internet banking facilities for his client, who then entrusted him with the internet banking security token and login details. Between September 2013 and May 2014, Mr Liaw accessed his client’s bank account without authorisation to make several outward transfers. He also made unauthorised transfers to a second client’s bank account and convinced the second client to transfer the money to him. Further, in March 2015, Mr Liaw deceived the first client into signing a blank cheque, which he claimed was for the payment of a management fee. Mr Liaw received nearly $200,000 as a result of his criminal conduct, which he used for his personal investments and expenses.

9     Mr Liaw was convicted of cheating under the PC, unauthorised use of the first client’s internet banking security token under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, as well as concealing the benefits of criminal conduct under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. He was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment.

6-year POs against Mr Mike Chew Jun Yong and Ms Priscilla Tien Ling

10     Mr Chew and Ms Tien are each prohibited for a period of 6 years from (i) providing any financial advisory service, or taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the FAA; and (ii) carrying on business as, or taking part in the management of, any insurance intermediary under the Insurance Act.

11     Mr Chew and Ms Tien were colleagues at Manulife Financial Advisers. Over a period of almost a yearThe period of offence was June 2017 to Feb 2018 for Tien, and June 2017 to April 2018 for Chew., they conspired with a chiropractor to cheat Manulife Singapore Pte Ltd (Manulife) in order to grow their respective insurance and chiropractic businesses. The chiropractor referred patients from his clinic to Mr Chew and Ms Tien, who would then sell Manulife personal accident policies to these patients. Even though Mr Chew and Ms Tien knew that the policies did not cover the patients’ pre-existing medical conditions, Mr Chew and Ms Tien facilitated claims for the cost of the patients’ chiropractic treatments by falsely stating that their clients had only sustained injuries and sought such treatments after the policies had come into effect. In doing so, Mr Chew and Ms Tien deceived Manulife into disbursing payments of $1,750 and $3,700 respectively.

12     Mr Chew and Ms Tien were both convicted of cheating under the PC. Mr Chew was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment and Ms Tien was sentenced to 8 months’ imprisonment.

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