Court convicts individual for false trading and deception
Singapore, 15 March 2021… Mr Wong Leon Keat (Mr Wong) was sentenced on 12 March 2021 to a total of eight weeks’ imprisonmentMr Wong filed a notice of appeal against the imprisonment sentences on 12 March 2021. and a fine of $30,000 for false trading and deceiving a brokerage firm while trading in the shares of Gaylin Holdings Limited (Gaylin). He was convicted on 11 February 2021 and his conviction was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force, following a referral by the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) to the MAS.
2 Mr Wong was charged with the following offences:
• 17 charges under section 197(1)(b) of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) for creating misleading appearances with respect to the price of Gaylin shares on 17 occasions from 11 November 2015 to 25 October 2016;
• a charge under section 201(b) of the SFA for deceiving UOB Kay Hian Private Limited (UOBKH) by not disclosing his 50 percent beneficial interest in Gaylin shares bought using a UOBKH trading account belonging to another individual; and
• a charge under section 182 of the Penal Code (PC) for furnishing false information to the public officer investigating the case.
3 Mr Wong pleaded guilty to seven charges under section 197(1)(b) of the SFA and the charge under section 201(b) of the SFA. The remaining 11 charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.
4 Ms Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime), MAS, said, “Mr Wong’s conduct distorted the price of Gaylin shares on multiple occasions. False trading and unauthorised trading undermine public confidence in our capital markets. MAS will take firm action against persons who engage in such misconduct.”
Background to the case
5 Mr Wong was a director of WLA Regnum Pte Ltd (WRPL) from 2007 to 2017. WRPL’s business included advising corporate entities on initial public offerings (IPO) on the mainboard or catalist board of the SGX-ST. WRPL advised Gaylin on its IPO in 2012 and Mr Wong also, in his personal capacity, introduced investors to invest in Gaylin shares.
6 From 2012 to 2016, Mr Wong helped several individuals manage their investments and had control over their UOBKH trading accounts. On 17 occasions from 11 November 2015 to 25 October 2016, Mr Wong bought Gaylin shares, in small quantities of 100 to 200 shares each time, through a UOBKH trading account belonging to one of these individuals. His trades caused Gaylin’s share prices to close 6.5 percent to 38.6 percent higher than they would have done otherwise. Mr Wong wanted to create the misleading appearance with regard to Gaylin’s share prices in order to, amongst other things, protect his reputation, because his company WRPL had been involved in Gaylin’s IPO process and he had introduced investors to invest in Gaylin shares.
7 In one UOBKH account belonging to another individual but controlled by Mr Wong, he and the account holder agreed to each hold 50 percent beneficial interest in the Gaylin shares bought in the account. Mr Wong did not disclose his beneficial ownership to UOBKH and therefore deceived UOBKH into believing that the account holder was the sole beneficial owner of the Gaylin shares.