Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

2 men charged with cheating S$9,000 in fraudulent Covid-19 relief grant applications

SINGAPORE — Two men in their early 20s were charged on Monday (Dec 6) over allegedly allowing someone else to submit fraudulent applications on their behalf for a scheme to help self-employed individuals cope with the economic impact of Covid-19.

2 men charged with cheating S$9,000 in fraudulent Covid-19 relief grant applications

The Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme was introduced in March 2020 to help the self-employed such as taxi workers whose income had been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

SINGAPORE — Two men in their early 20s were charged on Monday (Dec 6) over allegedly allowing someone else to submit fraudulent applications on their behalf for a scheme to help self-employed individuals cope with the economic impact of Covid-19.

Goh Soon Lee, 23, and Loh Kai Siang, 24, face one charge each of conspiring with two other individuals to cheat the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) over the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs).

Court documents identified the two others as Tang Ying Jun and Amy Cheng Kerou. It is not known if they have been prosecuted as well.

Goh is accused of abetting Ms Cheng by allowing her to submit a Sirs application on his behalf in July 2020, along with supporting documents that falsely stated he earned a net trade income of S$1,400 between January and March 2020.

Because of this, NTUC paid out S$3,000 to Goh.

Loh also allegedly allowed Ms Cheng to submit a Sirs application on his behalf with supporting documents that stated he earned a net trade income of S$145 between the same months. NTUC then paid out S$6,000 to him as a result.

The Ministry of Manpower launched Sirs in March 2020 to help self-employed workers with less means and family support to get through the pandemic.

NTUC helps the ministry administer the applications and appeals, as well as identify potential fraudulent cases that should be further investigated. Applications closed on Dec 31 last year.

Payments were handed out to those workers who were eligible, based on their declared income and number of properties owned.

The self-employed group, which includes freelancers, taxi drivers, private-hire car drivers and real estate agents, were given three quarterly cash payouts totalling S$9,000.

The criteria included earning a gross income of no more than S$100,000 a year and not owning more than one property.

In July last year, the police said that they had arrested four Singaporeans aged 24 to 55 for allegedly making fraudulent Sirs applications. Several of the applications were made on behalf of other people.

Both Loh and Goh also face several other gambling-related offences, including conspiring to cheat another man of S$930 over a rigged game of baccarat.

The two men will return to court for a pre-trial conference on Dec 24, and remain out on S$15,000 bail each.

Those convicted of cheating or abetting the offence can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Related topics

court crime Covid-19 coronavirus SIRS relief grant

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa