Woman Poses as Wealthy Individual, Tricks Housemate into S$400,000 Loan


In a shocking case of deception, a woman has pleaded guilty to multiple forgery-related charges after tricking her housemate into lending her more than S$400,000.

Tjheng A Liem, an Indonesian national, pretended to be a wealthy individual for about a year, using forged documents to convince her housemate to lend her substantial sums of money.

As per the report, Liem maintained the charade by presenting her housemate with various forged documents, including those allegedly from lawyers, banks, and property developers.

These documents were meant to support her claims of wealth and financial stability.

Over the course of their friendship, Liem managed to convince the victim to lend her approximately S$400,000.

The court heard that Liem initially informed her housemate that she had surplus funds from selling a property and company shares. She further claimed that her bank accounts had been frozen due to outstanding taxes.

These fabrications were intended to create the impression of wealth and financial distress, making her housemate more willing to lend her money. To sustain the illusion, Liem enlisted the help of an individual based in Indonesia to forge several documents, the report added.

These included a property title deed, legal documents, and bank letters. Some of the forged documents were based on genuine old documents, with altered details and content.

One of the forged documents purportedly showed that Liem was set to receive over S$4 million from the sale of a private property. In an attempt to convince her housemate that he would benefit from the property sale, Liem even showed him a forged cheque issued in his name.

However, suspicions arose when Liem repeatedly made excuses to delay repayment of the loan. The housemate eventually grew suspicious and reported the matter to the police in September of last year.

By that time, he had already lent Liem more than 4.6 billion Indonesian rupiah and S$10,000 in over 70 transactions. During the court proceedings, Liem’s partial restitution, lack of prior criminal convictions, and guilty plea were taken into consideration.

The prosecution is seeking a jail term of 32 to 40 months for Liem, describing her deception as “elaborate, persistent, and sophisticated.” Liem, who represented herself in court and spoke through an Indonesian interpreter, expressed remorse for her actions and assured the judge that she would not repeat them.

She requested a deferment in her sentencing to attend to personal matters, including informing her parents in person about her impending jail term and raising additional funds to repay the victim.

The case will be heard again in mid-December for sentencing, allowing Liem time to settle her affairs and make further restitution to the victim. Each forgery-related charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine.

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