Company CFO lied to police that he was robbed after misappropriating over $270,000

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Feb 14, 2024

A man lied to the police that he was a victim of robbery after he misappropriated $270,400 entrusted to him in August 2023.

On Feb 14, Lek Tai Yong, 27, was sentenced to six months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust.

One count of giving false information to a public servant was considered during sentencing.

His former secondary schoolmate, Eddie Ong Wei Xian, who had helped Lek by keeping the money safe, was sentenced to three months’ jail in November 2023.

Ong, then 26, had also pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust.

At the time of the offences, Lek was the chief financial officer of a firm called Frontier Digital Asset Management, a company involved in the management of cryptocurrency services.

He had jointly set it up with a man identified as Zhou Yongxin, 26, and another person whose details were not disclosed in court documents. Mr Zhou then became the firm’s chief executive.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yeo Zhen Xiong told the court that Frontier made profits from the management of cryptocurrency mining and was paid for its services in cryptocurrency.

Some time in August 2023, Lek hatched a plan to misappropriate monies entrusted to him and fake a robbery later.

Later that month, he met Ong at the void deck of the latter’s home.

DPP Yeo said: “The accused asked if Eddie was willing to stage a robbery whereby the accused would collect a large amount of monies and Eddie would thereafter rob the accused. Eddie initially refused as he considered it risky.”

Lek told his friend that he would be collecting monies from the sale of the cryptocurrency USDT on Aug 30, 2023, and then asked Ong to collect the proceeds of this sale.

Lek also said that he would head to Pasir Ris Park after that and pretend to be a robbery victim.

Ong agreed to be part of the plan, and he was expected to return the cash to Lek after the so-called “robbery”.

On Aug 30, 2023, Lek went to a multi-storey carpark in Pasir Ris and sold 200,000 units of USDT to a buyer who was not identified in court documents. Lek received $270,400 in return.

The sale was completed at around 1am the next day.

After that, Lek went to Ong’s car, which was parked nearby, and placed a bag containing the money on the rear seat. Ong drove home soon after and kept the bag in his bedroom.

At around 3am on Aug 31, 2023, Lek filed a police report, claiming that two people had robbed him at Carpark D of Pasir Ris Park.

Within nine hours of the report being made, Lek and Ong were arrested after investigations, the police said in a statement in October 2023.

The authorities also managed to recover the money.

The Straits Times

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