Man jailed for forging ex-wife’s signature on cheques and stealing her Hermes bag

SINGAPORE – In 2013, he forged his then-wife’s signature on two cheques amounting to $640,000, and 2½ years later, stole three of her branded bags including a $20,000 Hermes bag, a district court heard.

Kelvin Ang Soon Lim, 40, unemployed, was on Friday (June 16) jailed for four years after admitting to two forgery charges and one count of theft of the Hermes handbag worth $20,000.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Eric Hu said Ang stole his ex-wife Li Xiangli’s Hermes handbag from her room at Block 95 Commonwealth Drive sometime in May last year when the 34-year-old was away in China. He sold it for $14,900 and used the money for a business with a friend.

In the forgery cases, the court heard that Ms Li returned from China on Dec 28, 2013 and found out the next day that a sum of money had been transferred from her OCBC Bank account.

Further checks showed that Ang had presented two OCBC Bank cheques for $380,000 and $260,000, signed by Ms Li, to the bank. He deposited the total of $640,000 into his POSB account.

At that time, the couple were staying in separate rooms at the flat. She shared a room with their son and kept her cheque book in her drawer. She would usually lock her room and drawer when she went out of the house.

Ang duplicated her room and drawer keys and went into her room to steal the cheques when Ms Li was visiting her family in China from Dec 9 to 29 that year.

Ang had forged her signature on the cheques after he had seen her signature on telco bills lying around the house.

DPP Hu said all the money in the OCBC account belonged to Ms Li and her family who had investments in China. She had had investments in mining and factories with her aunt in China before she met and married Ang.

Ang admitted to her that he had used the $380,000 to repay loanshark debts he owed after losing a lot of money from gambling. He also admitted he wanted to bring the $260,000 to spend with his Chinese girlfriend back then.

A total sum of $250,000 and $222,000 had been returned to Ms Li by Ang and his mother respectively.

DPP Hu said she was then willing to let the matter go as they had a young child then. But when Ang stole her handbags last year, she went to the police and reported him on June 16.

Ang had previous convictions for theft, dishonestly receiving stolen property, burglary and theft in dwelling.

Ang, who was unrepresented, told District Judge Samuel Chua that he had re-married and still has a young family.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for theft. The maximum penalty for forgery is 15 years and a fine on each charge.

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