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The Straits Times
Jan 16, 2024
A woman cheated multiple victims into giving her more than $100,000, including for products she did not have and investment opportunities that did not exist.
One victim even handed her more than $60,000, which she claimed would “release frozen bank accounts” for a business venture.
Nikeal Lim Shi Hui, 31, pleaded guilty to seven cheating charges and two criminal breach of trust charges on Jan 16.
She was sentenced to 35 months’ jail and an enhanced sentence of 40 days’ jail for offending while on remission.
Lim was subject to a remission order from Oct 15, 2018, to April 24, 2019.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sunil Nair said that in 2019, Lim listed tickets to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) for sale on online marketplace Carousell for the price of $55 per ticket.
Twelve victims saw her online listing and paid her a total of $2,305 to get tickets.
“In truth, the accused did not have the USS tickets to sell and was not intending to procure them from any supplier for the victims’ orders,” the prosecutor said.
In 2020, Lim listed Rolex watches for sale on Carousell.
A victim, who saw the online listing, was interested in getting four watches and paid Lim $5,000 as a partial payment to secure the watches.
But Lim did not have any Rolex watches to sell and had no plans to get the watches to fulfil the orders.
That same year, Lim deceived two other victims on Facebook Marketplace into believing that she would sell them mobile phones when she knew she was not going to.
One victim paid her $800, while the other gave her $840.
In 2021, Lim told a colleague at the restaurant where she was working that there was an investment opportunity at a mask company.
“The accused told the victim that the investment was risk-free, would give interest of 10 per cent and would result in (tenfold) yields,” the prosecution said.
Lim’s colleague gave her a total of $4,210 over multiple occasions for the investment.
When her colleague asked for details about his investment, Lim lied that the agents for the investment were to blame and were unresponsive to her.
Separately, in 2018, Lim talked to another colleague about starting a business together to open a noodle stall.
As some initial capital was needed to start up such a business, she asked her colleague to loan her the money.
Lim told her colleague that for every $1,000 the victim lent, she stood to gain $100 to $200 in interest within one to two weeks.
From 2019 to 2020, Lim told her colleague that there had been complaints from creditors to the police, which caused bank accounts used by the offender to be frozen.
Lim told her colleague that the latter’s money was stuck in these frozen accounts and asked for more funds so that debts owed to the creditors would be repaid.
As the victim was hoping to recover the money she had previously given to Lim, she handed Lim more than $60,000 across multiple occasions between May and July 2020.
The prosecution said there were a total of 29 victims in Lim’s ruses, and she has since made a restitution of $6,500.
Those convicted of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and are also liable to a fine.