Former bank officer jailed 25 weeks for forging clients’ documents

12-May-2018 Intellasia | Yahoo News Singapore | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Under pressure to meet targets at work, a former OCBC Bank mortgage specialist forged his clients’ documents in order to expedite the approval of their home loans.

Paul Liew Ziguang, 31, was sentenced to 25 weeks’ jail by the State Courts for forging documents for the purpose of cheating. He had earlier pleaded guilty to four counts of forgery. Nine additional charges against Liew were stood down.

The court heard that between January 2014 and April 2015, Liew forged 13 supporting documents belonging to 11 clients in relation to their housing loan applications. The forgeries were meant to deceive the bank into believing that the clients were earning higher annual incomes or had enough cash reserves to meet the regulatory requirements when they applied for their loans.

The total amount of home loans involved in these applications was worth $7.7 million.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kenneth Chin asked District Judge Lorraine Ho to jail Liew at least six months. Chin said Liew committed 13 offences over a year, showing that it was not a momentary indiscretion.

Liew’s lawyer Peter Loh said Liew committed the offences because he was under pressure from his superiors to quickly close deals. Liew also did not gain financially from the offences, added Loh who asked for a total jail term of three months.

Chin noted the purpose of calculating the Total Debt Servicing Ratio on behalf of potential home buyers was to protect them from over-stretching themselves on their home loans.

In committing these offences, Liew unilaterally thought he knew better than the buyers, said DPP Chin. “The demands of life cannot be an excuse for dishonesty,” he added.

District Judge Ho agreed that the stresses faced at work should not be considered a mitigating factor in sentencing. She said that if Liew was unable to meet the pressures of working in a financial institution, perhaps this job was not suitable for him.

As an employee, Liew had been given a heavy responsibility and had betrayed his employer’s trust even if he did not intend to receive financial gain, said the judge.

Liew will begin serving his sentence on Thursday. He could have been jailed up to four years and fined on each charge.


Category: Singapore

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