Murali (*20*) Naidu, a Singapore individual of Indian origin, has been sentenced to greater than seven years in prison for scamming 20 individuals — some of them his circle of relatives members — out of SGD 2.5 million over six years.
According to a report in The Straits Times, court docket paperwork stated that Naidu, now 53, had run a rip-off the place he promised his traders — reasonably, his victims — that their cash could be invested in a lending enterprise arrange by his spouse, and that this is able to fetch good-looking returns for the victims.
The gullible victims, who have been amongst his acquaintances, associates, and household, withdrew enormous sums out of their financial savings — it averages to SGD 125,000 per sufferer — and “invested” the cash in Naidu’s spouse’s lending enterprise.
This enterprise was not an imaginary one. According to the general public prosecution, Naidu’s spouse had registered a licensed money-lending firm named San Tee Credit (STC) in Singapore in August 2006. Naidu was the supervisor there, as an worker of his spouse, the corporate proprietor.
Naidu knew how the money-lending enterprise functioned. He had labored for such a agency for 4 years earlier than his spouse arrange her personal firm.
Lured by the promise of enormous returns
A personal money-lending enterprise works in a way just like a lender financial institution. The traders are, in impact, the depositors, and they’d get a hard and fast curiosity on their funding principal on a periodic foundation. This curiosity could be decrease than the curiosity charged by the money-lending enterprise from its debtors. The distinction in the deposit curiosity (paid to the investor) and the lending curiosity (paid by the borrower) could be the enterprise’s revenue.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Jordon Li and Yeow Xuan advised the court docket that the accused knew find out how to elevate cash via funding agreements. That is what Naidu did, earlier than he stopped paying his traders the promised curiosity.
One of his victims, aged 69, gave the accused SGD 335,000 to speculate in STC. This cash was her whole life’s financial savings.
Another of his victims, aged 49, gave him about SGD 120,000 to speculate in STC. To do that, she took out a mortgage on her house in Malaysia.
The victims fell for the rip-off as a result of Naidu lured them with the promise of enormous returns — 2.5 to three per cent curiosity monthly (or 30-36 per cent each year), and compensation of the invested principal one 12 months from the date of the funding settlement.
In idea, the one that invested SGD 335,000 might make a sum of SGD 120,600 in curiosity alone, earlier than getting her full unique capital again. The lure was irresistible for the victims.
In impact, they woke as much as the Ponzi scheme when Naidu stopped paying them curiosity altogether from early 2013. The victims realised that their cash was gone.
According to the prosecutors, it by no means grew to become clear what Naidu did with the cash stolen from 20 individuals. He was sentenced to seven years and 4 months’ in jail on January 22, 2024. In complete, he had confronted 60 expenses linked to all of the victims.
His spouse’s firm STC, in which the victims had invested, had lent no cash to any borrower between 2011 and 2013, as per scrutiny by the Registry of Moneylenders. However, STC continued to resume its licence by paying the Registry charges.
The legitimate licence satisfied the victims that they have been investing in a authentic firm. What occurred to STC after 2013 is just not identified.