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Former property agent jailed 2 years for pocketing over S$130,000 of client’s money

SINGAPORE — After his client agreed to buy a condominium unit in 2015, property agent Lim Yi Han used S$132,814 that the client had entrusted with him for his own home renovations and furnishings.

Former property agent jailed 2 years for pocketing over S$130,000 of client’s money

The court heard that Lim Yi Han's criminal breach of trust meant that his client did not get the condominium unit she thought she had bought.

SINGAPORE — After his client agreed to buy a condominium unit in 2015, property agent Lim Yi Han used S$132,814 that the client had entrusted with him for his own home renovations and furnishings.

As a result, the client forfeited the unit.

Lim, 38, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal breach of trust by an agent on Wednesday (Jan 29) and was sentenced to two years behind bars.

He was working at Huttons Asia at the time. As part of his job, he was authorised to collect fees from third parties on behalf of the company.

His 29-year-old Australian client decided to buy property in Singapore in 2015, the court heard, so she hired Lim as her property agent. She knew of him through her relative.

In June that year, she signed an option to purchase a condominium unit for about S$765,558.

Between then and February 2016, she transferred S$327,430 in total to Lim to pay conveyancing fees, partial stamp duty and completion of foundation work, among other purposes. He issued two cheques to the developer and paid a real estate law firm their conveyancing fees.

Left with more than S$130,000, he used this sum to renovate his own home and buy items for it such as furniture and air-conditioning.

Because of this, Lim defaulted on certain payments under the sales and purchase agreement for the property his client wanted.

The developer then exercised its rights, which meant that the client forfeited the property along with S$153,111 out of what she had paid. The developer also charged her a late payment penalty of S$4,179.

Lim has compensated the victim A$18,000 (about S$16,550) so far.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mansoor Amir sought the sentence imposed, saying that the victim faced severe financial consequences apart from what she lost to Lim.

In mitigation, Lim — who did not have a lawyer — said that he was remorseful and apologised to his wife for having to raise their two young children by herself while he serves his time in prison.

He could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined.

Related topics

court crime property agent condominium criminal breach of trust

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