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Director sentenced to jail for conspiracy to cheat banks

Atiqah Mokhtar
Atiqah Mokhtar • 3 min read
Director sentenced to jail for conspiracy to cheat banks
Koryagin Vadim recruited Singaporean individuals to serve as local directors for companies set up for foreign clients.
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A Russian national has been sentenced to four weeks imprisonment for engaging in a conspiracy to cheat various banks, according to a statement released by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Sept 8.

53-year-old Koryagin Vadim was convicted of acts committed between 2014 and 2017 when he served as director of MEA Business Solutions.

MEA provided services relating to the incorporation of companies and setting up corporate bank accounts in Singapore.

Under regulations, local companies must have at least one director who is a Singapore resident.

To help foreign clients set up companies in Singapore, Vadim falsely posed as a local resident director. He also engaged a number of Singaporean individuals to serve as local resident directors on the companies MEA incorporated.

According to CPIB, Vadim would register each company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in the name of the local resident director and list them as the sole shareholder of the company in ACRA’s records. Vadim would also instruct the local resident director to open a corporate bank account for the company in certain instances.

Vadim was convicted after trial in relation to three such instances, whereby he abetted a local resident director to falsely declare himself to the banks as the ultimate beneficial owner of the companies/bank accounts in question.

Tang You Liang, the Singaporean local resident director abetted by Vadim in relation to the three charges, has been also been convicted on three counts of abetment by conspiracy to cheat. He was sentenced to 14 days’ imprisonment.

Vadim still faces four charges for cheating various banks in his capacity as a local resident director, offences punishable under Section 417 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. He also faces a further 22 counts of abetting other local resident directors to cheat banks, offences punishable under Section 417 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

In a separate statement, ACRA states that it has cancelled MEA Business Consultancy’s registration as a filing agent for breaching anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism rules.

A filing agent must be registered with ACRA in order to provide corporate secretarial services, such as helping clients to incorporate a company, file annual returns or meet the requirements of the Companies Act.

MEA Business Consultancy (MBC) had been engaged by MEA to set up 14 local companies and provide corporate secretarial services.

Among other regulatory requirements, MBC was required by law to conduct due diligence to establish the identities of the beneficial owners of the registered entities but failed to do so.

Apart from having its status as a registered filing agent revoked, MBC has also been barred from acting as a filing agent for a period of two years until March 7, 2023.

This marks the first time ACRA has cancelled the registration of a filing agent for such breaches.

Photo: Bloomberg

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