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Former financial planner charged in court after allegedly cheating 7 clients

SINGAPORE – A former financial planner who allegedly cheated seven clients by forging documents and misrepresenting insurance policies has been charged in court, the police said on Friday (Dec 6).

The clients lost over $22,000 in policy premiums that were already paid.

Stedtson Koh, 33, was charged with a total of 14 offences. Seven charges were for cheating while the other seven were for forgery for the purpose of cheating.

Before 2013, Koh, sold insurance savings plans from an insurance company Prudential to the seven clients while working at a major local bank.

In 2013, he left Prudential to join another insurance company, Manulife, as a financial planner.

Koh then contacted the seven clients from before with the intention to sell them investment-linked policies (ILPs) offered by his new company. However, he misrepresented the policies to them, stating that the policy value of his customer’s existing savings plans from Prudential would be brought over to the ILPs from his new company, Manulife.

The duped clients then bought the ILPs from him.

To cover up his misdeeds, Koh forged various documents to create the impression that the policy values of their savings plans were transferred over to their new ILPs. Thinking that the documents were real, the seven clients stopped paying premiums for their original plans with the first insurance company.

Unknown to them, the values of these savings plans were not brought over to the ILPs, and the savings plans with Prudential eventually lapsed.

In total, more than $22,000 worth of premiums paid to Prudential were forfeited because the plans lapsed.

Koh was offered bail of $15,000 and his case has been adjourned to Jan 2 next year.

Offenders convicted of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge. Those found guilty of committing forgery for the purpose of cheating can also be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.

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