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2 men charged with forging retrenchment letters to get Covid-19 support grants

SINGAPORE — Two men were charged in court on Wednesday (July 1) with forging retrenchment letters to obtain Covid-19 support grants, with one man accused of lying that he had lost his job due to the pandemic.

SINGAPORE — Two men were charged in court on Wednesday (July 1) with forging retrenchment letters to obtain Covid-19 support grants, with one man accused of lying that he had lost his job due to the pandemic.

Chow Jia Chuan, 29, was given one count of cheating, four counts of attempted cheating and one count of forgery, while 43-year-old Edward Goh was charged with two counts of forgery.

Chow allegedly declared in a Temporary Relief Fund application on April 20 that he had lost his job due to Covid-19, even though this was false.

He successfully got the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to give him S$500, charge sheets state.

Chow attempted to cheat MSF again in the following month, and is accused of declaring in a Covid-19 support grant application on May 5 that he had lost his job due to the pandemic.

He tried to get MSF to approve his application and deliver a monthly cash grant of S$800 for three months to him, but did not succeed, charge sheets state.

Chow is accused of trying again a week later, telling MSF employee Samantha Choy that he had lost his job due to Covid-19 on May 13. He knew this was false, but tried to get MSF to deliver a cash grant of S$800 for three months, court documents said.

On May 14, he allegedly forged a retrenchment letter in order to cheat MSF into disbursing the Covid-19 support grant to him, and told Ms Choy again that he had lost his job from the pandemic. 

Chow is accused of trying once more on May 21, by declaring in a Covid-19 support grant application that he had lost his employment due to the pandemic, hoping to get a monthly grant of S$800 for three months.

Chow will return to court on July 29.

In an unrelated case, Goh is accused of forging a retrenchment letter from Lim Gim Tee of Scotts Hwa Heng Beef Noodles on May 5.

He did so to cheat MSF into disbursing the Covid-19 support grant to a Tan Meng Lan, charge sheets state. The police said in a statement that he knew this other person.

Goh was given a second count of forgery — for fabricating a retrenchment memorandum from Ee Hui Food Catering on May 14, intending to cheat MSF into disbursing the Covid-19 support grant to him.

Goh intends to plead guilty and will return to court to do so on July 29.

If convicted of forgery, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

The penalty for cheating is a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine, and attempts to cheat draw the same punishments.

Both the Temporary Relief Fund and Covid-19 support grant were launched to provide financial support to Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of Covid-19, and are managed by MSF.

The police said in a statement that they "take a serious view of dishonest conduct pertaining to applications for Government grants", and that offenders will be dealt with severely. 

CNA has contacted MSF for more information. CNA

For more news like this, visit cna.asia

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus Covid-19 Support Grant forgery court crime

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