WA man stole from friends; jailed for six-and-a-half years

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Perth fraudster charged for taking more than $2m from victim

A Perth gambling addict has defrauded friends out of more than $1 million by encouraging them to invest in his sham business of exporting baby formula to China.

The Senior is reporting that Malaysian-born Alan Chee Yong Tan, 36, pleaded guilty to 30 fraud charges involving 13 victims who were acquaintances and friends he met through church, work and school.

He has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Yong registered a business in 2016 and convinced each victim he would purchased the baby formula for about $19 per tin in New Zealand and sell it in China, where there was an “endless demand” for $25 per tin.

He also induced a retiree to invest in the export of fish oil from Fremantle to China, the West Australian District Court heard.

The victims signed written contracted Yong had prepared and he also forged documents, including a shipping manifest, bank statements and Australian Taxation Office forms.

The signature and seat of notaries public were also forged in contracts, the court heard.

In 2016, Yong spent at least 355 hours gambling at Crown Casino, paid $1.7 as buy-ins and made a net loss of $686,447.

Judge Belinda Lonsdale said Yong’s scheme was a complete shame, but she accepted the father of one was devastated at the shame he had brought upon his family and friends.

“Your offending was extremely sophisticated and involved a high degree of planning, research, effort and deception in order to fool your victims into believing you were running a legitimate business,” she said.

“None of them should feel embarrassed at being duped by you because you really did go to extraordinary lengths to make your operation seem legitimate, and even intelligent and sophisticated people could easily have been fooled by you.”

The court heard after Yong was arrested, he breached the terms of his bail and again attempted to lure somebody into his scam.

Judge Lonsdale ordered Yong to pay compensation to his victims, including one who lost almost $250,000.

Yong will be eligible for parole after serving four-and-a-half years behind bars and as a permanent resident of Australia, faces the possibility of deportation.

Donaco ousts brothers from board

In July, shareholders of Donaco International got together to determine whether or not Joey Lim and Ben Lim, often referred to as the Lim Brothers, should retain their spots on the company’s board.

After a short vote that saw substantial input, the Lim brothers have been forced to give up their sports and are now virtually removed completely from anything related to Donaco, Calvin Ayre reported.

In a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange, Donaco acknowledged that the duo had been ousted after 90 per cent of the voting shareholders agreed to have them give their seats back.

It brings to a close a long battle between the two and company investors over concerns of how the company was being managed.

Joey Lim is the founder and former managing director, as well as former CEO of the company.

He was forced out of the top spots in March when the company’s investors relieved him of his duties.

Ben Lim then stepped in as interim CEO until Paul Arbuckle was appointed new CEO in June.

The removal from the board follows a call by the Spenceley Family Trust and Family Superannuation, represented by trustee Spenceley Management, called for the extraordinary general meeting along with shareholder Antonia Carolina Callopy.

The three entities control 5.04 per cent of the company and had entered the resolution to vote on the issue of the Lim brothers’ places on the board when the meeting was announced last month.

James Spenceley owns directly, or through entities owned by him, around 4.68 per cent of Donaco’s shares.

He has been vocal in wanting to have the brothers out, asserting that it was in the best interest of the company and that it would allow Donaco to gain investor confidence. Spenceley is also the chairman of the board of Silver Heritage Group.

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