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Man, 25, gets 31 months' jail for duping Foodpanda into delivering over S$174,500 worth of food, goods

SINGAPORE — A young man has been sentenced to 31 months' jail after he exploited a loophole in food delivery platform Foodpanda’s accounting system by creating two bogus corporate accounts that allowed him to order more than S$174,500 worth of food and other goods, for which he did not pay.

Man, 25, gets 31 months' jail for duping Foodpanda into delivering over S$174,500 worth of food, goods
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  • Ronny Lee Jia Jie created two unauthorised corporate accounts to order food and other products from Foodpanda
  • One involved using his father's business name without his knowledge
  • The corporate accounts allowed for a 30-day credit term, which lets users make a consolidated payment at the end of the month
  • Lee never made the payments, and he was sentenced to 31 months’ jail 

SINGAPORE — A young man has been sentenced to 31 months' jail after he exploited a loophole in food delivery platform Foodpanda’s accounting system by creating two bogus corporate accounts that allowed him to order more than S$174,500 worth of food and other goods, for which he did not pay.

On Thursday (Jan 19), Ronny Lee Jia Jie, 25, pleaded guilty to two charges for cheating, and a single charge for forgery.

Two other cheating charges and a single charge for theft were taken into consideration for the Singaporean’s sentencing.

WHAT HAPPENED

The court heard that the cheating offences that Lee pleaded guilty to first took place in January 2020.

At the time, he was working as an administrative staff member in his father’s ship repairing company, Hestia Marine, handling paperwork and human-resource-related matters.

He was also studying part-time for a diploma in film and television production at the Singapore Media Academy.

Sometime that month, Lee registered a corporate account in the name of Hestia Marine with Foodpanda by listing himself as the representative of the company in his capacity as a “human resource executive”.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) V Jesudevan said that Lee created the account without the knowledge or authority of his father.

The account allowed for a 30-day credit term with Foodpanda, which meant that he did not need to make payment immediately upon delivery of an item he ordered. Rather, he could do so on a consolidated basis at the end of each month.

Using the account, Lee then ordered food amounting to a total of S$18,723.70 on 132 occasions between Jan 20 and April 5 in 2020 from Foodpanda.

However, whenever Delivery Hero — the company that operates Foodpanda — pressed for payments, Lee would state that the payment cheques were not ready.

Eventually, the corporate account was blocked in July that year.

However, as he was then aware of the loophole in Foodpanda’s corporate accounting system, Lee then created another one in the name of Mediacorp using the email address “shawntan.mediacorp [at] gmail.com” even though he did not work for the media company.

With this account, Lee ordered a total of S$155,816.20 of food, surgical masks and other items on 365 occasions between Aug 14 and Nov 3, 2020.

DPP Jesudevan said that the food was for Lee’s own consumption, while he resold the masks on e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Carousell to make money for himself.

To date, no restitution has been made to Delivery Hero.

DPP Jesudevan also said that when Lee was eventually called upon to attend court on Dec 5, he found a way to delay attending his subsequent court hearings through forgery.

He did so on three occasions between Jan 3 and Jan 20 in 2021 by forging letters, purportedly from Singapore Media Academy and directed to the State Courts, stating that he had to sit for examinations and would not be able to attend his court hearings.

Lee’s ruse was uncovered only when a district judge instructed court officers on Jan 21 that year to verify with the Singapore Media Academy whether it had indeed issued the letters. It had not.

Anyone found guilty of cheating can be punished with a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Anyone found guilty of forgery can similarly expect to be punished with a jail term term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Related topics

court crime Foodpanda

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