SINGAPORE – A director of a wine-procuring firm, who was entrusted with $338,811, misappropriated the sum and spent it on personal expenses.
Dominic Sim Kwok Sng committed the offence when he was a director at Universal Assets Group (UAG). He subsequently left Singapore in 2015 while investigations into his case were still ongoing.
Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department arrested him when he came back to Singapore on Feb 13.
Sim, 45, was sentenced to two years and two months’ jail on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust.
A search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority reveals that he is no longer a director of UAG.
At the time of the offence, he was also a director of Cayman Islands-incorporated firm The Grand Sapphire (TGS).
Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh said that UAG was in the business of procuring wines for clients to purchase either for consumption or for investment.
Between 2005 and 2009, UAG also offered a wine investment buy-back scheme.
As part of the plan, the company entered into agreements with clients who were investors to buy back the wines at a premium after a certain duration if UAG or the investors could not find a new buyer.
On Aug 19, 2009, TGS executed a share transfer form to transfer half of its shares in another Cayman Islands-incorporated firm called Real Win Limited (RWL) back to RWL.
According to court documents, RWL owned a cruise ship that was used for gambling-related activities.
The agreement was that these shares would be considered to be worth around $800,000.
After offsetting some debts that TGS owed to RWL, there was a balance of $338,811 remaining from the sales proceeds.
Sim asked RWL’s then director to transfer the amount to Sim’s personal bank account in China. The transfer was made on Aug 20, 2009.
DPP Koh said the sales proceeds in fact belonged to UAG, which had provided the original consideration for the purchase of the shares.
UAG was the beneficial owner of the shares.
The monies had also originated from UAG’s investors in the wine buyback business, said the DPP, who added: “By this time, UAG was experiencing significant financial difficulties due to the financial crisis (at the time) and had difficulty fulfilling its obligations to investors under the wine buyback scheme.”
Sim has made no restitution.
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