SINGAPORE, June 7 — Malaysian police helped to locate and arrest Jeffrey Ong, the lawyer who went missing along with more than S$33 million (RM100.4 million) from a client’s escrow account, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement yesterday.
The SPF said that they have charged the 41-year-old Ong, a lawyer with JLC Advisors LLP, in relation to an alleged case of misappropriation of S$33 million from an escrow account held by the law firm.
“A police report was lodged on 21 May 2019 regarding the case,” SPF said.
“The police subsequently sought the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to locate and arrest Jeffrey Ong, who had left Singapore before investigations commenced.
“With the co-operation and assistance of the RMP, Jeffrey Ong was arrested and brought back to Singapore on May 30, 2019.”
The statement did not say where Ong was arrested. TODAY has reached out to the Malaysian police to get more details.
Ong was charged in court last Saturday (June 1) with one count of cheating and is remanded for further investigations.
“As the case is before the courts, the police are unable to comment further,” SPF said.
The lawyer had gone missing after engineering firm Allied Technologies said on May 23 in a Singapore Exchange (SGX) filing that it was making a police report. This was after it was told by JLC Advisors — the law firm holding its escrow account — that S$33.4 million from the account may have been paid out under Ong’s instruction.
The charge sheet showed that on Feb 19, Ong allegedly deceived a company called CCJ Investments into believing that another entity called Suite Development had entered into a loan agreement with it.
Ong also allegedly “dishonestly induced” CCJ Investments to disburse a sum of S$6 million. Some S$3.3 million was then used to refinance Suite Development’s mortgage loan and about S$2.7 million was deposited into the client account of JLC Advisors.
The maximum sentence for cheating is 10 years’ jail and a fine.
Following Allied Technologies’ revelations, SGX RegCo — the regulatory arm of SGX — said that it will object to any future appointments of Ong as a director or executive officer of any company listed in Singapore.
Besides Ong’s possible involvement with the missing money, SGX said that he has also resigned as the independent director and acting non-executive chairman of Annica Holdings on May 20 due to personal reasons.
Other than making a police report, Allied Technologies also reported the case to the Law Society of Singapore and “commenced legal proceedings”. — TODAY
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