SINGAPORE – A serial conman, who was sentenced to five years’ jail last year after cheating six women of almost $437,000, admitted in a district court on Monday (Aug 24) that he had duped a seventh woman of more than $320,000.
For his latest offences, Malaysian Peter Aw Boo Cheong, 49, was sentenced to a year’s jail after he pleaded guilty to three counts of cheating involving more than $120,000.
Five other cheating charges linked to the remaining amount were considered during sentencing by District Judge Ronald Gwee.
Aw, who is already behind bars, will begin serving his latest sentence after completing his earlier jail term.
For his earlier offences, the Singapore permanent resident had claimed to be an experienced trader and cheated the six women after befriending them on dating platforms Match.com and Tinder. He cheated them in 2016 and 2017.
The court heard that in December 2015, he messaged the seventh woman, a 42-year-old Singaporean, on dating website singaporelovelinks.com and introduced himself as “Daniel”.
The jobless man again claimed that he was an experienced foreign exchange (forex) trader.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Hsiao Tien said: “In the accused’s dealings with the victim, he led her to believe that he was a credible and trustworthy person who had valuable information about investment, and would help her to invest monies for her best interests.
“In fact, the accused was never a forex trader.”
Aw then duped the woman into believing that he needed monies for various reasons such as “making payment for his clients’ accounts” or opening a bookie account to recover “investment losses”. All these reasons were false, said the DPP.
Around Jan 10, 2016, the woman transferred $20,300 to a bank account belonging to the mother of Aw’s third child. The mother later handed the cash to Aw.
Later that month, he lied to the victim, claiming that he needed another $27,000 to open a bookie account on horse racing so as to recover some “investment losses”.
DPP Tan said: “As the victim did not have enough monies, she obtained a loan of $26,000 from her insurer using her life insurance policy. The remaining $1,000 was from the victim’s personal savings.”
She then transferred the cash to the same bank account.
Aw also duped her into giving him $73,000 in cash the following month.
The woman, who did not have enough money, had to take a bank loan to raise the amount.
She finally lodged a police report last year when Aw became uncontactable after she handed over the monies.
The court heard that he had used his ill-gotten gains on his personal expenses, which included gambling at the Marina Bay Sands casino. He has made no restitution.
For each count of cheating, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.