A 38-year-old woman, Rachel Ann Fernandez (Fernandez), was convicted on 6 February 2020 and sentenced to seven months' imprisonment for perpetrating a fraudulent investment scheme.
In March 2016, Fernandez persuaded her female victim to participate in a gold investment scheme purportedly offered by DBS Bank Limited (DBS Bank). She was required to hand ten pieces of 100 gram gold bars over to Fernandez, on the understanding that the bars would be deposited with DBS Bank. In return, she would receive monthly returns of 4% of the value of the gold bars across a three-month investment period. Fernandez had promised that the gold bars would be returned to the victim at end of the investment period.
The victim only received the agreed returns for the first month but did not receive any further returns thereafter. Fernandez also did not return the gold bars at the end of the investment period. To allay her concerns, Fernandez provided a screenshot of an email, purportedly from Piyush Gupta of DBS Bank, that stated the gold bars could be collected by the victim in November 2016.
Investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department revealed that there was no such investment scheme offered by DBS Bank. In addition, Fernandez had pawned the gold bars on the same day of receiving them from the victim.
On 6 February 2020, Fernandez pleaded guilty to one charge of cheating under Section 417 of the Penal Code. A further charge of using as genuine a forged electronic record under Section 471 read with Section 465 of the Penal Code was taken into consideration for the sentence.
Source: Singapore Police Force