Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Jover Chew gets jail, fine for ‘audacious’ cheating schemes

SINGAPORE — Jover Chew Chiew Loon, the notorious owner of the now-defunct Mobile Air electronics shop, was sentenced to 33 months’ jail and fined S$2,000 today (Nov 30), as a district judge admonished him for coming up with an “audacious” scheme to cheat unsuspecting victims while also seeking to dodge civil and criminal sanctions.

Jover Chew seen arriving at the State Courts today (Nov 30). Photo: Robin Choo

Jover Chew seen arriving at the State Courts today (Nov 30). Photo: Robin Choo

SINGAPORE — Jover Chew Chiew Loon, the notorious owner of the now-defunct Mobile Air electronics shop, was sentenced to 33 months’ jail and fined S$2,000 today (Nov 30), as a district judge admonished him for coming up with an “audacious” scheme to cheat unsuspecting victims while also seeking to dodge civil and criminal sanctions.

Chew, 33, used his shop at Sim Lim Square as a veneer of legitimacy, which he used to exploit customers repeatedly, noted district judge Siva Shanmugam. He did this even after the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) had stepped in to try to put a stop to his scam, said the judge.

“(Chew) had exploited the veneer of legitimacy provided by the physical presence of his registered company to entrap unwary patrons. Customers for all intents and purposes would have assumed that Mobile Air was a genuine business entity,” said the judge. “The scheme was premeditated to the extent of anticipating potential disputes and possible civil and criminal sanctions.”

Chew would lure potential victims in with relatively low-priced mobile devices. After deals had been inked, he would alter the invoices to cheat victims into handing over more money. The judge also noted the elaborate nature of Chew’s scam, which involved the collection of payments in separate tranches and the use of seemingly innocuous documents couched as warranty agreements and invoices.

Together with four accomplices — Koh Guan Seng, Kam Kok Keong, Lim Hong Ching and Kelvin Lim — they cheated 26 customers into paying S$16,599 for mobile devices between January to October last year.

Chew received a 60 per cent cut on the profits, while his accomplices took the remaining 40 per cent. His accomplices have since been jailed between four and 14 months.

Chew had earlier pleaded guilty to 12 charges of cheating, one count of criminal intimidation and one count of insulting behaviour. Another 16 charges were taken into consideration.

Today, district judge Siva sentenced Chew to six months’ jail on each cheating charge, and three months’ jail on the criminal intimidation charge. He also fined Chew S$2,000 for the insulting behaviour offence. Chew could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined for cheating, jailed two years and/or fined for criminal intimidation and fined up to S$5,000 for his insulting behaviour.

Clad in a blue-and-pink striped polo shirt, Chew appeared expressionless when the sentence was being read. But his mother, Madam Tang Yu Keung, 63, was in tears as she hugged her son in court.

Highlighting Chew’s defiance of authority and his role as the mastermind of a criminal enterprise that operated under the guise of a mobile-phone shop, prosecutors had earlier pressed for a jail term of 36 months to be imposed.

District judge Siva said Chew showed a “flagrant disregard for the law” by persisting with his cheating despite frequent visits from the police. Chew also “remained unperturbed” by the letters from CASE and a default order from the SCT, he added.

Chew also seemed to have targeted foreigners in particular “on the basis that they would be least likely to assert their rights in Singapore”, the judge said. 

Chew’s offences would also have an adverse effect on Singapore’s efforts to promote itself as a retail hub with both the local and foreign media highlighting the need for customers to exercise caution when dealing with errant local retailers, he added.

But the judge also took into account that Chew was a first offender who had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity, and made restitution to victims. “I view his plea of guilt as an indication of his remorse over the matter.”

Speaking to the media outside the courtroom, Madam Tang said they would also seek their lawyer’s advice on whether to make an appeal.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.