When thinking of opposition politicians who are also lawyers, Lim Tean’s probably a name that comes to mind.
And apart from representing bus drivers in lawsuits, he’s also gotten into a fair bit of trouble himself over the past few years.
Most recently, he was issued two more charges yesterday (Friday) after he was found to be guilty of criminal breach of trust as an attorney, as well as another charge that is… rather silly, I suppose.
Here’s what happened.
Kept Settlement Money for Himself
For the unaware, Lim is the sole proprietor of Carson Law Chambers right now, according to the Ministry of Law’s website.
One of the newest charges against the 57-year-old state that he was handed $5,500 by AXA Insurance in “settlement monies”.
The money, which belonged to an individual named Christianne Rameshwaran, was given to Lim in cash.
And instead of passing the money to its rightful owner (whose details were not revealed in court), Lim allegedly pocketed the settlement money for himself on 3 April 2020.
Another Charged Issued as Lim Refused to Answer Officer’s Questions
Apart from the first charge, he was also handed another charge yesterday (23 September) in court.
In particular, this charge involved him refusing to answer questions that a civil servant had asked him on 10 June this year.
On that day, Lim was present at the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), a department of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) located along New Bridge Road.
Court documents also showed that Desmond Toh, a CAD officer, had asked him questions related to a case that included him being paid US$50,000 (approximately S$71,000) by a person named Lee Peto. Additional details regarding Lee were not discussed in court.
The case apparently occurred somewhere around or on 23 October 2017, and Lim was “legally bound” to disclose any sort of information that he had regarding the case.
However, he chose not to answer any questions when the officer posed the questions, leading to his second charge.
Previously Charged With Similar Charges, Stalking and Practising Law Without Cert
And if you’re wondering if you’ve read this piece of news before, you’ve probably read a similar one a few months ago.
Because on 12 May this year, Lim was issued five charges in court.
These charges include criminal breach of trust as an attorney, unlawful stalking and acting as an advocate or solicitor without a valid practising certificate.
And if you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what the court found out about Lim back then when he was charged earlier this year.
Not the First Time Accused of Pocketing Settlement Fees
Yup, it seems like Lim’s act of taking the $5,500 given to his client by AXA Insurances isn’t even the first time that he’s done something like this.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 General Elections happened, Lim had apparently done something similar.
Between 14 November and 4 December 2019, Lim had apparently committed (another) criminal breach of trust.
Based on a statement issued by the SPF, Lim had apparently been handed $30,000, which was meant to be his client’s settlement monies after a motor injury civil suit.
However, just like what he did with the $5,500, Lim apparently kept the money for himself as well.
Harrassed and Stalked Employee
And apart from taking money that shouldn’t be his, he also allegedly behaved inappropriately towards his employees.
In particular, he apparently stalked one of his former employees from April to May 2020.
He did so by sending the employee “flirtatious text messages” multiple times which caused the employee to feel uncomfortable (as anyone would).
The employee, who was still working for Lim at that time, decided to resign after a month.
In response to that, Lim previously claimed that he has “never stalked anyone in his life”, and that he initially wanted to hire the employee as a paralegal but she “could not make it”.
Appeared in Court Against PM Lee Without Law Cert
Last but not least, Lim also faced accusations regarding the fact that he had appeared in court as an advocate or solicitor when he did not have a valid law practising certificate between 1 April and 9 June 2021.
During that period of time, he appeared in court on 66 different occasions.
According to the Singapore Courts website, it is compulsory for any solicitor who wants to take on the role of an advocate and solicitor to apply for a practising certificate before they act as an advocate or solicitor.
“The term ‘practice year’ means the period from April 1 in any calendar year to March 31 in the next calendar year,” the website clarified.
Apart from that, one of the lawsuits that he was involved in at that time was the one between Xu Yuanchen, The Online Citizen’s (TOC) legal editor and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The lawsuit took place on 19 April last year.
Xu, better known as Terry Xu, was accused of defamation by the Prime Minister due to an article that was posted on the TOC website.
Apart from suing Xu, PM Lee also sued Rubaashini Shunmuganathan, who acted as the Malaysian editor of that article.
Eventually, PM Lee received $210,000 in damages in September 2021.
For more information regarding Lim’s previous charges, here’s everything summarised for you by our favourite blue cat(s):
For now, there will be a pre-trial conference regarding Lim’s offences. The conference will take place later this year on 21 October.
If convicted of misappropriating the $30,000 handed to him, Lim may face imprisonment for life or a maximum of 20 years in jail with a fine.
As for unlawful stalking, Lim may be imprisoned for up to a year and fined up to $5,000 if convicted.
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Featured Image: Facebook (Lim Tean)
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