SINGAPORE — As a way to make some money and get his car repaired for free, Lim Yong Jun let his friend use his car to stage a car accident.
SINGAPORE — As a way to make some money and get his car repaired for free, Lim Yong Jun let his friend use his car to stage an accident.
Lim and five other co-accused persons were involved in lodging fraudulent personal injury and vehicle damage insurance claims of around S$67,000.
On Friday (Aug 11), Lim was sentenced to four months and four weeks’ jail after pleading guilty to two charges of cheating and one charge of providing false information regarding an offence committed.
Five other charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Lim’s lawyer, in arguing for a lighter sentence, said that the 25-year-old was not the mastermind of the plan and was “merely a zombie following the instructions of the co-accused”.
Sometime in February 2021, Lim’s friend, Chew Kuo Choon, suggested that Lim use his own car to stage an accident to lodge false insurance claims.
The car he was referring to was registered under Lim’s grandfather’s name but usually driven by Lim.
Chew, who was working at a motor vehicle company called Teamwork Garage at the time, told Lim that he would be able to make money and get free repairs for his car by staging this accident.
Chew also claimed that he would be able to obtain commission from lawyers by referring the accident to them.
Agreeing to the idea, Lim met up with Chew and another two friends, Koh Yi Ming and Terrine Ng Qian Hui, for dinner on Feb 25, 2021.
The court heard that Koh was also working at Teamwork Garage and Ng was Koh’s girlfriend.
Over dinner, Chew, Lim and Koh agreed to use Lim’s car to stage an accident. The plan was for Chew to drive Lim’s car with Lim as a passenger while Koh and Ng followed behind.
This was so Koh could approach the other driver in the accident to persuade him to send his car to the Team Garage workshop for repairs.
While driving along Sims Avenue at around 11pm, Chew noticed a car pulling out from a parking lot.
He then drove forward to collide into the left rear of the car they had targeted.
After the collision, Chew and Lim got out of their cars and Lim gave his details to the other driver.
Koh pretended not to know the pair and approached the driver, offering to recommend a workshop, but the man refused.
After leaving the area, Chew drove Lim’s car to the Teamwork Garage workshop and gave Lim a replacement car.
He then called another friend — Alex Lau — and told him that he would be putting him as a phantom passenger to make a fraudulent personal injury claim, to which Lau agreed.
A day later, Chew, Lim and Lau went to Our Family Physician Clinic & Surgery at Tampines to collect medical certificates by claiming that they had been in a traffic accident and were in pain.
On the same day, Lim also filed a false police report over the accident according to Chew’s instructions.
Court documents stated that five fraudulent personal injury claims amounting to S$56,217 were made by ALP Law Corporation against Tokio Marine on March 22 in 2021.
On April 23, Teamwork Garage lodged a false vehicle damage insurance claim on behalf of Lim’s grandfather for a sum of S$11,167 to Tokio Marine.
On Saturday, a spokesperson from Teamwork Garage said in a statement to TODAY that it did not know it was a staged accident until it was notified by the police’s Commercial Affairs Department.
“At the time of lodging the vehicle damage insurance claim, we did not know that it was a false claim,” the spokesperson said. “We were kept in the dark until we were notified by the Commercial Affairs Department.”
The company said that it dismissed Chew when it found out the truth to the matter.
“We are in the midst of seeking legal advice from our lawyers in relation to the false vehicle damage claim and the loss we have suffered arising there from,” the spokesperson added.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Teh sought a sentence of between four months and four weeks’ jail and five months and five weeks’ jail.
He said that this plan was well organised and syndicated, as well as difficult to detect.
DPP Teh added that even though Lim was not the mastermind, he did provide the car to stage the accident and was in the car when it happened.
However, he noted that Lim was diagnosed to have dependent personality disorder and persistent depressive disorder by an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist.
Dependent personality disorder is characterised by excessive reliance on other people, the inability to make decisions without support, and having passive or submissive behaviour.
Lim’s lawyer, Mr Dhillon Singh of Dhillon and Panoo LLC, countered that Lim was a “blind man who was completely manipulated by Chew”.
He added that Lim’s condition had caused him to be “inappropriately compliant” with Chew’s wishes and demands.
“He was merely a zombie following the instructions of the co-accused,” said Mr Singh.
Lim’s co-accused, Koh, was sentenced on Feb 22 to 16 months and two weeks’ jail, fined S$3,500 and disqualified from driving for 10 months.
Lau, the phantom passenger, was sentenced to four months and two weeks’ jail in September 2022.
Chew’s case is pending.
For giving false information regarding an offence committed, Lim could have been jailed up to two years, fined, or both.
Those found guilty of cheating can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
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