Koh Seah Wee was sentenced to 22 years in jail and Lim Chai Meng to 15 years for their roles in cheating Singapore government agencies of S$12.5 million ($10 million) in the city’s biggest public-sector fraud since 1995.
Koh Seah Wee, formerly a deputy director at the Singapore Land Authority, pleaded guilty to 55 charges including cheating and conversion of property from criminal proceeds at a hearing in Singapore on Oct. 28. Lim, who was his subordinate, pleaded guilty to 49 counts including money laundering.
Justice Tay Yong Kwang sentenced the men, who faced a maximum of 10 years in jail for each cheating charge. Koh Seah Wee was accused of defrauding the land authority of S$12.2 million and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore of S$286,000, and was charged with 372 counts of cheating and corruption at the agencies. Lim was charged on 309 counts of defrauding the land authority.
Koh Seah Wee’s actions were a “wanton abuse of trust,” Prosecutor Aedit Abdullah said Oct. 28 in seeking a jail term of 20 to 24 years.Koh Seah Wee was also accused of cheating the Singapore Supreme Court of an undisclosed amount.
Sentencing him today, Judge Tay said that Koh Seah Wee needed Lim and the “duet of deception could not have been performed with such virtuosity unless they were both in harmony.”