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The Straits Times
Feb 19, 2021
The founder of a modelling and escort business arranged for models to provide sexual services to customers and kept a portion of the earnings.
She even assigned a teenager, whom she had earlier hired, to service two clients.
Farlynda Tan, 38, was sentenced to five months' jail and fined $920 on Friday (Feb 19).
She pleaded guilty to one count each of procuring a girl for the purpose of prostitution and of living in part on the earnings of such prostitution.
The court heard that Tan, who used to work as a freelance model and social escort, operated a company known as Elixir Event for about four years before her arrest in November 2019.
She had started the firm with a pool of about five freelance models working under her.
Using her contacts from her modelling days, she helped the models obtain event assignments and provide companionship to male customers.
Tan knew that the provision of such companionship involved sexual services, which she referred to as "intimacy", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee.
She arranged about two prostitution assignments monthly, each time charging customers between $1,300 and $1,500, and taking 40 per cent from the earnings.
"The accused further estimated that, in total, she had received about $30,000 from the prostitution of the models in her company," DPP Gwee also said.
The court heard that Tan also posted advertisements for models on e-commerce platform Carousell. A 16-year-old girl responded to that in April 2019.
The teen cannot be named due to a gag order to protect her identity.
Identifying herself as "Alexa" through WhatsApp calls and messages, Tan told the teen that she would be offered assignments which involved "intimacy".
When asked by the girl if this entailed the provision of sex to customers, Tan responded that it would.
Court documents state that the girl agreed to work for Tan as she wanted to earn fast cash.
She also told Tan that she was 19 years old. Tan did not conduct any further verification of her age.
The court heard that Tan arranged for the girl to provide sexual services to male customers on two occasions in June 2019.
She received $920 in earnings from the teen's prostitution and spent the monies on daily expenses between July and November 2019.
Tan was originally scheduled to plead guilty to her offences on Thursday (Feb 18), but she was deemed to not be in the right state of mind to do so by District Judge Prem Raj after she broke down in tears in court.
The judge eventually moved the hearing to the next morning.
On Friday, Tan cried again in court but appeared to have regained enough composure for proceedings to continue.
In his submissions, DPP Gwee urged the court to sentence Tan to six months' jail and a $920 fine. He noted that Tan had set the pricing of the sexual services, selected and liaised with the customers, and assigned the appointments to the models.
For each of her offences, Tan could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to $10,000.