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Two Singaporean Indians jailed for scamming victims in US

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SINGAPORE: Two Indian origin Singaporean men were sentenced to jail for scamming victims in the United States through at least 50 companies, two of which received money through bank accounts, including transactions from China and the UAE. Ishan Sharma, 34, was sentenced to four weeks’ jail. He pleaded guilty to two charges under the Companies Act after instigating his friend Kandhiban Letchumanansamy, 36, into not exercising reasonable diligence when the latter was a director at both firms, The Straits Times reported.
Kandhiban was sentenced to a week’s jail. He pleaded guilty to one charge under the same Act after he failed to exercise any supervision over the companies’ affairs.
Court documents did not state how the offences came to light, according to the daily report.
Stressing that Sharma was the “directing mind” behind these arrangements, Deputy Public Prosecutor Matthew Choo told the court that the offender earned SGD 12,000 in total for his offences linked to the two companies that received more than USD 1 million from scam victims.
At the time of the offences between 2019 and 2020, Sharma was a chartered accountant.
In 2017, he found out that Kandhiban was unemployed and offered the older man a job at a firm called Karmic Circle, with a monthly salary of SGD 500.
As part of the arrangement, Kandhiban had to be listed as a director of incorporated companies. He agreed to the deal.
DPP Choo said: “Kandhiban knew that he was meant to be a ‘silent director’ and would have nothing to do with the operations or activities of the companies.
Due to his arrangement with Sharma, Kandhiban became the listed director of more than 50 companies between 2019 and 2020.
Sometime before June 2019, a man known as Aashish Nanda introduced Sharma to Indian national Rahul Batra, the court heard.
Aashish also told Sharma that Rahul wanted to incorporate a company in Singapore.
Sharma then corresponded with Rahul twice over the phone before he proceeded with the incorporation of Quartz Resources.
“Ishan (Sharma) and Kandhiban only met Rahul in person in June 2019 after the incorporation of Quartz Resources, where Rahul paid (Sharma) SGD6,000 in cash for the services rendered and for the opening of Quartz Resources’ corporate accounts,” said the prosecutor.
Kandhiban then signed an agreement with Rahul to be a nominee director of Quartz Resources.
The agreement included a clause stating that Kandhiban should not be involved in the firm’s management and operations.
Quartz Resources was incorporated on June 7, 2019, and Sharma’s home was listed as its registered office address. Kandhiban and Rahul were listed as its directors, while Sharma was listed as its secretary.
Later that month, three corporate bank accounts were opened under Quartz Resources’ name, with Rahul as their sole signatory.
The DPP said Kandhiban did not have access to the bank statements, did not request the statements, and did not review the transactions performed through the accounts.
Two of Quartz Resources’ bank accounts later received more than USGD583,000 from five scam victims.
Sharma and Kandhiban went on to commit similar offences linked to Kiora Worldwide, which was incorporated on November 3, 2019.
For this case, the court heard that some time before November 2019, Aashish introduced Sharma to another Indian national, identified as Wadhawan Suchit.
Sharma met Wadhawan in person only in November 2019, after the incorporation of Kiora Worldwide. The Indian national paid him SGD 6,000 in cash for items, including services rendered.
Kandhiban and Wadhawan were listed as the directors of Kiora Worldwide, while Sharma was listed as its secretary.
Two of Kiora Worldwide’s bank accounts later received nearly USD480,000 from three scam victims.
The money received in the bank accounts belonging to Kiora Worldwide and Quartz Resources were remitted to accounts belonging to other companies in countries including China and the United Arab Emirates.
The scam proceeds were not recovered.

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