Asia

Jail for Indonesian ex-part-time law lecturer over insurance scam involving nearly $500,000

SINGAPORE – A former part-time Indonesian law lecturer admitted in a district court here on Thursday (Sept 24) that he had taken part in an insurance scam involving nearly $500,000, cheating mainly AIA Singapore.

Khomaini’s offences from 2018 to last year led to more than $160,000 in payouts and in several instances, involved impostors pretending to be hospital patients in Indonesia.

He also used the names of some of his unsuspecting family members to file false claims.

The 40-year-old Indonesian, who goes by only one name, committed the offences in his home country, and officers from Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) arrested him on Feb 17 when he came here for a holiday.

The court was told that Khomaini has a PhD in law from an Indonesian university.

He was sentenced to three years and two months’ jail after pleading guilty on Thursday to seven counts of cheating involving more than $340,000.

Sixteen other similar charges linked to the remaining amount were considered during sentencing.

He was working as an insurance agent in Indonesia from 2015 to 2016 when a colleague taught him how to make bogus insurance claims and earn cash from policies.

The colleague, Ms Nesya Mydin, also told him that insurance policies in Singapore had better returns and lower premiums compared with those in Indonesia.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap said: “As a result, the accused also purchased several insurance policies in Singapore for the purpose of submitting false insurance claims.

“He also purchased insurance policies under the names of his family members and friends, intending to use them for the same purpose. The accused paid the… premiums for these policies.”

Ms Nesya also introduced Khomaini to a man known only as “Sianturi”, who later acted as a middleman and made arrangements for him.

In December 2017, Khomaini bought three insurance policies in his mother’s name. The court heard that his mother, Madam Yusliyah, was unaware of her son’s scheme.

On Oct 16, 2018, AIA Singapore received a claim for Madam Yusliyah’s purported hospitalisation at an Indonesian facility for dengue from Aug 17 to 26 that year.

On the false claim, the DPP said: “The patient treated… was not Yusliyah but an unknown female subject who was registered at the hospital using Yusliyah’s identity. Sianturi made the arrangements pursuant to the conspiracy.”

AIA was then duped into paying out more than $20,000.

The court heard that Khomaini later used a similar method to fraudulently obtain more insurance payouts.

On Nov 19 last year, an AIA Singapore manager made a police report, stating that the Indonesian had lodged fraudulent claims on insurance policies. CAD officers arrested him when he came here three months later.

Pleading for his client to be sentenced to three years’ jail, defence lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said in court that Khomaini had resorted to “desperate means” to pay for his mother’s medical expenses. The lawyer also told District Judge Salina Ishak that Khomaini is remorseful.

For each count of cheating, an offender can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

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