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Jail for serial scammer who cheated victims of over S$40,000

SINGAPORE — Over a span of four years, Ronny Lee Jia Jie took on various guises — including pretending to be a Mediacorp employee — while cheating his victims of about S$43,000.

SINGAPORE — Over a span of four years, Ronny Lee Jia Jie took on various guises — including pretending to be a Mediacorp employee — while cheating his victims of about S$43,000.

On Friday (Feb 8), the serial scammer was jailed for 14 months for 20 charges of cheating. A total of 61 other charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court previously heard that Lee, who is now 21, had concocted numerous schemes to cheat his victims.

His career as a scam artist started in 2014 when he was 17 years old. In December that year, Lee cheated Singtel of 28 mobile phones — including Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Note devices — worth a total of S$30,152.

Using the NRIC numbers and names he took while volunteering for an event, Lee made 49 applications on Singtel’s website for mobile phone lines. He later cancelled 21 of them as he felt guilty.

Of the 28 phones, nine were sold to second-hand dealers and on Carousell for S$7,000, while seven phones were either given away or lost. The remaining 12 phones were recovered and returned to Singtel.

Between July 2015 and May 2017, Lee shifted his focus to Carousell users, cheating 11 victims by peddling goods and services such as concert tickets for Taiwanese band May Day, sports apparel and bookings at the Aloha Changi resort.

In September 2015, Lee also cheated his former schoolmate of S$300 in a bogus investment scam, promising him a return of US$11 million in the first six months and US$450 million in the six months thereafter.

Nine months later, he cheated a courier company by posing as a Third Sergeant from the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association so that he could get a 14-day credit term for delivery services as a corporate client.

As he did not have to pay for their services upfront, Lee then offered the courier company's delivery services to others on Carousell, but did not pay the courier company.

His scams continued even when he was out on bail last year, when he conned a shop into printing 50 custom-designed fan club T-shirts worth S$668.75.

Lee also cheated a toiletries and beauty products seller by feigning interest in becoming a product distributor. As a result, the victim provided him with S$5,344 worth of toiletries such as shampoos, shower gels and cleansers, but she later discovered that he did not transfer the money for the products to her bank account.

For each count of cheating, Lee could have been jailed between three and 10 years, fined, or both.

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