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Man jailed 4 months for forging option to purchase agreement to avoid repaying S$1.7m property loan from friend

SINGAPORE — When a friend lent him S$1.7 million to buy a condominium unit in Bukit Timah, Dmitriy Shport failed to repay her and instead sold the private property behind her back to pay off his debts.

Man jailed 4 months for forging option to purchase agreement to avoid repaying S$1.7m property loan from friend
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SINGAPORE — When a friend lent him S$1.7 million to buy a condominium unit in Bukit Timah, Dmitriy Shport failed to repay her and instead sold the private property behind her back to pay off his debts.

The Singapore permanent resident then waited several years before lying to her that he had just sold the unit. 

In order to convince her of the legitimacy of this “sale” and that he did not violate their loan agreement, he sent her photos of an altered option to purchase document. 

In Singapore, an option to purchase is a signed agreement between a property's seller and a prospective buyer, before they enter into a contract for the sale and purchase of property.

To date, Shport has yet to make any repayments to his friend.

On Friday (Sept 9), the 54-year-old who is from Russia pleaded guilty to an offence of forgery for the purpose of cheating.

He was sentenced to four months’ jail which was backdated to July 25 — his date of arrest. 

The court heard that Shport first approached his friend, Ms Irina Sergeva, in early 2015 to ask for a loan to purchase property in Singapore.

They then entered into a one-year loan agreement where she lent him about S$1.7 million.

After a year had passed, they agreed to extend the repayment date from March 31, 2016 to Dec 31, 2018. However, Shport failed to make any payments towards the loan.

Throughout this period, he told Ms Sergeva over WhatsApp about his plan to sell the unit, creating a false impression that he was still the property owner and was trying to sell it in order to repay her.

On Dec 21 last year, he lied to her that he had just sold the unit and received a significant cash outlay which he could repay her with.

In reality, he had already sold the property in April 2017 for S$1.75 million. He used the proceeds to pay off some bank debts as well as to finance his company.

He sent Ms Sergeva three screenshots of what appeared to be an option to purchase agreement exercising the sale of the property for S$2.4 million, purportedly issued by ERA Realty Network.

He had taken the original option to purchase document from 2017 and altered the dates at the bottom of the pages to 2021. He also mistakenly altered one such date to 2022.

He then took photos of the forged document and sent them to Ms Sergeva.

In mid-January this year, Ms Sergeva’s lawyers performed searches on the property and discovered that Shport had already sold it a few years ago.

Shport could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined for forging a document or electronic record in order to cheat.

Related topics

court crime forgery option to purchase property

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