Don’t bite off more than you can chew!
A man forged his payslips so that he can get a credit card with higher limits to buy bitcoin… only to be unable to repay his credit card debt and went bankrupt.
Falsely Declared Higher Salary
Lin Mingzhong, 48, began investing in bitcoin on an online cryptocurrency trading platform in early 2020. He was working with Singapore Green Engineers then, and bitcoin was a way for him to earn extra income.
To purchase bitcoin, he applied for credit cards at multiple banks. In March 2020, he decided to apply for a Citibank credit card.
When applying for the card, he had to declare his monthly salary and provide payslips as evidence. He was earning a monthly salary of $6,000 then.
To get a credit card with a higher credit limit, he decided to falsely declare a higher salary and forged his payslips accordingly. He used a previous payslip from ex-employer Mediacorp in October 2019 as a template and edited his payslips from Singapore Green Engineers to reflect a salary of $8,100.
This success in forgery thus led Citibank into issuing him a card with a limit of $32,200, which is four times his forged monthly salary. If he declared his real income, the limit would have been $24,000.
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Bought $31,472 Worth of Bitcoin, Could Not Return His Credit Card Debt
With his credit card limit of $32,000, Lin proceeded to purchase $31,472.12 worth of Bitcoin on 24 March 2020.
He (obviously) was unable to pay back his debt, and the bank cancelled his card on 15 June 2020. In August 2020, the bank’s Country Fraud Risk Management Branch investigated Lins failure to make any payments toward his debt, and found out that he forged his salary.
The bank thus filed a police report, and Lin declared bankruptcy as he was unable to repay his debts with Citibank and other banks as well.
Lin’s crime led to Citibank suffering a loss of $9,638.95. As of August 2020, the outstanding balance including interest was $33,638.95.
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Pleaded Guilty to Forgery for Cheating
While pleading for a lighter sentence, Lin said that he had lost $300,000 to $400,000 due to his investments in cryptocurrency.
It took him a long time to find a job, ad he currently earns $8,000 monthly, If he gets imprisoned for six months as required by the prosecution, he would have to start from square one again.
He will return to court next month for mitigation and sentencing.
Those convicted of forgery to commit cheating can be jailed for a maximum of 10 years, along with a fine.
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