MAS bans ex-insurance agent, former bank staff for fraud and dishonest conduct

SINGAPORE – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders (POs) against a former insurance agent and an ex-bank employee for fraud and dishonest conduct, it said on Wednesday (Aug 19).

The orders, which took effect on Aug 18, were issued against the two men following their convictions in unrelated cases in the State Courts.

Aw Yong Seng, an ex-employee of insurer Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, was earlier convicted of forgery under the Penal Code and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment. Johnny Chew Swee Sun was convicted and sentenced to eight weeks’ jail for employing a scheme to defraud and for unauthorised trading under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

In June 2017, Aw forged a document purporting to be an official receipt issued by Prudential. His client had earlier entrusted him with approximately $25,000 in cash to be paid to Prudential as the annual premium for the client’s policy. Instead of handing over the payment to Prudential, Aw used the money for his own purposes. He forged a receipt in the name of Prudential in order to lead his client to believe that the annual premium had been paid.

After the deception was uncovered, Aw made full restitution of the amount to Prudential and the client’s policy was reinstated.

MAS has now banned Aw for five years from providing any financial advisory services, 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 (FAA). He is also prohibited from carrying on business as, or taking part in the management of, any insurance intermediary under the Insurance Act.

Chew, a former Bank of Singapore representative, used a scheme btween April 2012 and December 2012 to defraud securities firm IG Asia Pte Ltd by placing false orders for securities in three SGX-listed counters. He did so in his personal capacity using his personal trading accounts, as well as accounts belonging to his relatives and a friend. This was done with the sole purpose of influencing the associated Contracts for Differences (CFD) prices offered by IG Asia in his favour. The trades in the underlying securities were ultimately never executed, and would be withdrawn shortly after the CFD orders were executed.

Chew eventually made restitution to IG Asia.

He has now been banned for three years from providing any financial advisory services, 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. He is also prohibited from performing any regulated activities, 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.

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