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2013 penny stock saga mastermind John Soh and co-conspirator Quah Su-Ling await sentencing

Khairani Afifi Noordin
Khairani Afifi Noordin11/4/2022 06:10 PM GMT+08  • 2 min read
2013 penny stock saga mastermind John Soh and co-conspirator Quah Su-Ling await sentencing
John Soh (left) and Quah Su Ling (right). Photos: Albert Chua and Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore
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Lawyers defending John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su-Ling crossed swords with prosecutors today over the length of the sentence that should be passed to convicted masterminds of the 2013 penny stock saga.

The defence counsel of Soh, N Sreenivasan argued against deputy public prosecutors' (DPP) push for a 40-year jail term.

Soh and his co-conspirator Quah Su-Ling were on May 5 found guilty of several of the charges they were facing under three groups of criminal conspiracy including for forced trading, price manipulation and deception. Soh was convicted of 180 of the 188 charges he faced while Quah was found guilty for 169 of the 178 charges she faced.

At court on Nov 4, Sreenivasan drew comparisons to 1985’s Pan-Electric crash which resulted in the temporary closure of the Singapore and Kuala Lumpur stock exchanges. Tan Koon Swan who played a significant role in the demise of the company was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of $500,000 for one criminal breach of trust.

The DPP, however, argued that the penny stock saga is “no Pan-Electric”, as the loss in market capitalisation of the crash is equivalent to 33 Pan-Electric, which had a market capitalisation of about $230 million.

The share manipulation of Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp — collectively known as BAL collapsed on Oct 4, 2013, around $8 billion in market value were destroyed.

See also: The Edge Says: Singapore gets it right — Severe punishment is the best deterrent against future commercial crimes

The episode has been described as Singapore’s largest-ever case of share manipulation and involved 189 securities trading accounts held with 20 financial institutions and 60 individuals and companies.

Justice Hoo Sheau Peng adjourned the court, and sentencing will be determined at a later date.

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