SINGAPORE — In a bid to get money to settle his gambling-related debts, a financial consultant at OCBC Bank hatched a plan to dupe five of his clients out of a total of $170,000.
Hoi Wei Kit selected victims who were not technologically savvy and relied on his explanations when signing up for financial products, instead of reviewing the necessary documents.
The court heard that Hoi would contact targeted customers to inform them that they were eligible to open a promotional term deposit account with an attractive interest rate of 8.88% or 11.88%.
He would encourage them to take the promotional term deposit and meet with him to sign the necessary documents.
In reality, Hoi had no intention of helping customers open term deposit accounts, and he got away with their money instead.
On Monday, January 17, the 34-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty to seven counts, including five counts of cheating involving $130,000.
Thirteen other counts, including three counts of cheating related to the remaining $40,000, will be considered at sentencing.
Hoi worked as a financial consultant with the bank from October 6, 2015 to April 1, 2018, the court heard. His responsibilities included selling insurance and various types of investment products to individuals as well as assisting in opening bank accounts with OCBC Singapore.
Deputy Attorney General Dhiraj G. Chainani said that Hoi used to gamble and was in debt in October 2017. He then decided to deceive the victims and use his ill-gotten gains to pay off his debts.
Hoi knew that to apply for a typical term account, a client had to fill out and sign at least two types of forms.
One would indicate the details of the term account to be created in the client’s name and the other would authorize the debit of funds from the client’s bank account to the term account.
Since Hoi had no intention of setting up a term account for the victims, he let them sign only the form authorizing the debit of funds from their bank accounts.
He then transferred their funds to OCBC accounts belonging to his associates.