SINGAPORE – A serial con woman who pretended she was a piano teacher from a wealthy family, a cancer sufferer, and a lawyer, among others, ran a whole gamut of ruses over a period of six years, tricking 10 victims of more than $880,000.
Described by the prosecution as a “seasoned and skilled manipulator”, Joceyln Kwek Sok Koon, 49, had masterminded love scams, investment scams and inheritance scams, and even used her own child’s bank account as part of her criminal schemes.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Phoebe Tan told the court that Kwek was a serial cheat who “preyed on all and sundry”. Her victims included her lover’s parents and sister, her own godmother, her husband’s former colleague, and even a worker at a bubble tea store she frequented.
She said: “Even when she was scheduled for trial for cheating charges, the accused hunted for other victims to scam. She was a seasoned and skilled manipulator who repeatedly and brazenly flouted the law.”
On Tuesday, Kwek was jailed for a total of 85 months. She had previously pleaded guilty to six cheating charges and another charge of criminal breach of trust.
Other charges for cheating and forgery – 16 in all – were taken into consideration for sentencing.
In total, Kwek had been able to cheat 10 victims of more than $880,000 over a period of six years.
She had come up with a multitude of lies and schemes, making false claims like being a piano teacher who came from a wealthy family that ran a freight forwarding business, or suffering from brain cancer and leukaemia, or having access to lucrative investment opportunities.
In several of these instances, she had used her daughter’s name and POSB Kids bank account to perpetuate the scams and receive monies.
To make her ruses more believable, Kwek had forged numerous documents, including cheques and a memo purportedly from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
She also faked multiple personas, like a “Rachel Lam” who was supposedly an undergraduate, a “Jolene” who was a single mother with financial difficulties, a “Matthew” who was a lawyer, and a “Ginia” who was a pregnant divorcee who previously had an abusive husband.
The court heard about how Kwek, who was a mother of two in 2016, had started an extra-marital affair with a Lai Sze Yin, about a month after he had delivered a parcel to her place.
Back then, she was 42, while he was 23. Together, they cheated Lai’s parents and sister of more than $100,000 from 2017 to 2019.
Lai was jailed for 15 months in 2021.