Using the dead to commit crimes? There’s probably a special layer of hell for them.
34-year-old Hong Weiliang conspired with Russian criminals and a police chief, and even tried to pin the blame on the dead.
Went Bankrupt 8 Years Ago, Conspired with Russians for Crime
The court revealed that Hong went bankrupt back in 2014. However, he continued to operate multiple funeral companies with his relatives, including Singapore Bereavement Services and Singapore Funeral Supplies.
Singapore Funeral Supplies started using a new payment platform in 2018, where customers do not need to swipe a physical credit card. Instead, they can just provide the credit card number and its expiration date for payment.
In August that year, Hong decided to use this new payment platform to steal money. Together with another local man Huang Lianxing, he conspired with at least four Russians who provided him with credit card information. Hong then used the information provided to steal the money.
Between August and December 2018, Hong managed to scam money from those credit cards 116 times, successfully stealing $350,000. Using cash, transfers, remittances, and bitcoin transactions, he then distributed the money to his accomplices.
He also attempted to swipe those cards another 338 times, but was unsuccessful. If those attempts succeeded, he would have gotten another $1.4 million out of the cards.
This crime was discovered and reported to the police on 27 December 2018.
Even Got Police Chief to Help Him
After Hong got arrested in April 2019, he lied to the investigators and said that the entire scam was orchestrated by a deceased man. He even said that he has witnesses that can testify to that claim.
While in detention, he met police chief Guo Zhongming. The policeman had seen Hong on online live broadcasting platforms before, and agreed to help Hong to coach the witnesses on what to say.
Guo was then discovered and sent to five months in prison last year.
Deceived Relatives Using Fake Receipts
The relatives who jointly ran the funeral companies suspected that Hong was tampering with the companies’ finances, and decided to take away all financial rights from him in October 2018.
In order to get the stolen money out of the company’s account, Hong decided to forge receipts in order to swindle cheques from his relatives.
Additionally, he stole his father-in-law’s identity card information and applied for a credit card online. He also scammed his friends into becoming a director for a pharmaceutical company in his place, since his bankrupt status prevented him from doing so.
51 Months of Imprisonment
Hong faced 28 counts of stealing credit card information, transferring stolen money, and attempting to obstruct justice.
He pleaded guilty to 11 of these counts, and was sentenced to 51 months in jail on the morning of 8 August.
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