Monday, December 21, 2015

Thomas Subramainiam & wife Hameedah Bee Abdul Jaffar Indian-Singaporean jailed for cheating

SINGAPORE: A 61-year-old Indian-Singaporean man has been sentenced to 33 months for cheating a 70-year-old Dutch woman of over $3 lakhs on the pretext of promoting her yoga books and investing in a property in Indonesia. 

Thomas Subramainiam and his wife Hameedah Bee Abdul Jaffar convinced Hong Kong-based Dutch national Elisabeth Evararda Van Der Laan for placing her money in the account of their company Billionaires Management Worldwide (BMW). 

Sentencing of 48-year-old Hameedah has been postponed to next month for she was reportedly hospitalized. 

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong had earlier this month found the couple guilty of conspiring to cheat Everarda by dishonestly inducing her to deliver the money to BMW by issuing three cheques in that year. 

Deputy Public Prosecutors Kwek Chin Yong and Norman Yew charged that the couple deceived Everarda by lying that BMW would provide a business strategy to market her latest book on yoga and coach her in it and help her invest 500,000 Singaporean dollars ($371,333) of her retirement savings in real estate in Indonesia. 

Investigations later showed that the purported plans were a ruse to scam her of the funds and to spend the money on themselves, according to a report in The Sunday Times. 

They denied the scam and claimed Everarda agreed to invest in their Admall project, an online marketing portal which they alleged had failed largely because she did not cooperate with them to see the plans through. 

The couple had spent some of the money on themselves, including 24,390 dollars on a five-night stay in "the world's only seven-star and notoriously expensive Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai", the report said, citing a 2010 judgement which ruled the civil suit in favour of Everarda. 

Everarda said though she won the civil suit, "not a penny has been salvaged" from the couple. 

"The criminal case is not about legal return-of-money orders but about punishment," Everarda said who represented herself and pursued the case for seven years. 

"The outcome could not have been better. If you think you can live in grandeur on other people's money, well, that's what you get," Everarda was quoted as saying by the paper. 

Judge Toh noted lack of remorse from Thomas and said his jail term should be 42 months, based on past precedent. But he discounted Thomas' nine months in remand.

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