Probation for 23-year-old woman who cheated 34 people, mother
On more than 50 occasions, a woman duped her friends and even her own mother into handing over $17,800 for her drinking and clubbing expenses.
23-year-old Tricia Tan Si Ying was ordered to 18 months of supervised probation after pleading guilty to 17 cheating charges and one charge of giving false information to the police.
Thirty-three other counts of cheating and attempted cheating were also taken into consideration.
In passing sentence, District Judge Low Wee Ping was incredulous that "all the offenses were done by a young girl of only 22 years."
He added that it "was quite shocking to see a 23-year-old girl having an addiction to alcohol."
Tan, who is unemployed, pretended to be her victims' cousins or friends.
She used social networking site Facebook to obtain contact information about her victims' cousins and friends.
Using this ruse, she contacted them through SMS and requested for loans.
Her victims were then deceived into transferring into her bank account, amounts varying between $500 and $2,000.
They only realised they had been cheated after checking with their real cousins or friends.
Tan was arrested in January this year.
But she reoffended while on court bail.
This time, she told her victims to transfer money into another person's bank account.
She also cheated her mother into believing that she was making restitution to the victims of the first set of cheating offences.
This led her mother to transfer money to various bank accounts from which she later retrieved the money.
In her mitigation, Tan begged the court for another chance.
She said she wanted the opportunity to "look for an honest job" and to "make restitution to the victims."
Besides calling for her probation, District Judge Low ordered Tan to perform 150 hours of community service and to undergo treatment programs for her problem drinking.
In addition, Tan's parents have to post a $2,000 bond each to ensure her good behaviour.
-By Alvina Soh
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