Two men, aged 43 and 48, were charged in court today for separate cases of cheating and forgery offences involving the COVID-19 Support Grant (“CSG”) and the Temporary Relief Fund (“TRF”). The CSG and TRF were launched to provide financial support to Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 and were administered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (“MSF”).
The 43-year-old man was charged for allegedly attempting to cheat MSF into disbursing the CSG by falsely declaring in his application that he had lost his job due to COVID-19. He is also alleged to have submitted a forged retrenchment letter and provided additional false information to MSF to support the false declaration in his CSG application. MSF did not approve his CSG application.
The 48-year-old man was charged for allegedly cheating MSF into disbursing the $500 TRF payout by falsely declaring in his application that he had lost at least 30% of his income. The man was also charged for allegedly providing false information to an MSF officer regarding his TRF application.
If convicted, the two men face the following punishments:
- The offence of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine. The prescribed punishment for attempted cheating is the same;
- The offence of forgery for the purpose of cheating under Section 468 of the Penal Code carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine; and
- The offence of giving false information to a public servant under Section 182 of the Penal Code carries an imprisonment term of up to two years, a fine, or both.
The Police take a serious view against any person involved in dishonest or fraudulent conduct pertaining to applications for Government grants. Offenders will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law.
Source: Singapore Police Force