Continue reading this on our app for a better experience

Open in App
Home News Corruption probe

Former CEO of Oriental Group Limited jailed for market manipulation

Bryan Wu
Bryan Wu • 3 min read
Former CEO of Oriental Group Limited jailed for market manipulation
Lee Wan Sing was sentenced to nine years’ jail on Nov 7 for leading a scheme to manipulate the price of the company’s shares.
Font Resizer
Share to Whatsapp
Share to Facebook
Share to LinkedIn
Scroll to top
Follow us on Facebook and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

The former CEO of Oriental Group Limited (OGL), previously listed on the Singapore Exchange S68 (SGX), was sentenced to nine years’ jail on Nov 7 for leading a scheme to manipulate the price of the company’s shares.

Lee Wan Sing, who was the CEO of steel bar trading firm OGL from 2014 to May 2016, conspired with the company’s former group financial controller, former investor relationship manager and two of OGL’s shareholders to push up the company’s share price between April 2015 and January 2016.

Its shares were listed on the Catalist board of SGX from February 2010 until OGL's liquidation in May 2019. 

The five co-conspirators controlled a web of more than 50 trading accounts, which belonged to them and at least six other individuals. For some of the trading accounts employed to execute the scheme, the former CEO personally approached the account holders to procure their accounts.  

With Lee at the helm, they coordinated the buying and selling of OGL shares through and between these accounts. Over the period of nine months, over 339 million OGL shares were traded through the controlled accounts, constituting about 80% of the total market traded volume. 

The scheme caused OGL’s share price to inflate by more than 300% against the backdrop of a general decline in the Straits Times Index (STI) during the same period.

See also: Former CEO of AON Singapore and former directors of Fullerton Healthcare charged with corruption

In order to fund the trades for the scheme, Lee also misappropriated $500,000 in cash belonging to OGL. The cash, which was kept in a safe in Lee’s office, was from an individual who had subscribed to the company’s convertible loan notes. The sum was meant to be used as working capital for the Company’s business.

Lee also cheated three financial institutions into disbursing loans under credit facilities by pledging his OGL shares as security while concealing the fact that their value had been artificially inflated as a result of the scheme, resulting in over S$380,000 in outstanding losses to the financial institutions.

OGL was also duped into making payments totalling $650,000 for fictitious purchases. Lee had false supporting documents created to deceive OGL into disbursing funds to pay for the fictitious purchases and to conceal the fictitious nature of these purchases from auditors.

See also: Billionaire's mission to court Singapore’s political elite backfired

For his actions, Lee was charged with a total of 64 counts of offences under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289) and the Penal Code (Chapter 224).

Lee pleaded guilty to and was convicted on 12 charges under the SFA and six charges under the Penal Code, with 451 charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

Court proceedings against the other co-conspirators, Lee Ong, Chong Yong Von and Tan Seow Juay, are ongoing. There are no court proceedings against Chan Geok Leng, who passed away on October 26, 2021. 

Separately, seven other individuals, who were account holders of some controlled accounts, were each charged with between one and eight counts under the Section 201(b) SFA, for placing orders in OGL shares in their trading accounts under the instructions of Lee, without the authorisation of the respective brokerage firms. 

Six of them have pleaded guilty and were sentenced to fines of between $19,000 and $54,000. Court proceedings against the remaining individual are ongoing.

×
Loading next article...
The Edge Singapore
Download The Edge Singapore App
Google playApple store play
Keep updated
Follow our social media
© 2024 The Edge Publishing Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.