Malaysiakini News

BSI banker jailed 54 months for money laundering, cheating

Published:  |  Modified:

Former BSI Singapore wealth planner Yeo Jiawei was sentenced to 54 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to money laundering and cheating charges linked to 1MDB, Singapore's Straits Times reported today.

Yeo, 34, pleaded guilty to the charges, with eight other charges taken into consideration by the Singapore court.

He is already serving a 30-month jail sentence after being convicted on four charges of witnesses tampering.

The sentence handed out today and the previous sentence will run concurrently.

Yeo is the third BSI banker found guilty by the island republic in its 1MDB investigations.

He had earlier filed an appeal against his conviction and sentencing. The appeal hearing was scheduled for Aug 5, according to The Edge Markets.

It remains unclear if the Aug 5 appeal will continue, following today’s sentencing.

Singapore's prosecutors had described Yeo as a central figure in a complex web of cross-border fund flows involving money siphoned off from 1MDB.

He was reportedly trying to get his colleagues and business associates to “hold hands” as investigators were closing in on their ring.

Yeo the 'rain maker' in the saga

Following a two-week trial, district judge Ng Peng Hong had, in his written judgment, described Yeo as the "rain maker" in the saga. Yeo received the stiffest sentence out of the five 1MDB-related convictions in Singapore so far.

The court heard how Yeo urged three witnesses to lie to investigators and destroy evidence that would incriminate him.

The court also heard that Yeo enjoyed close ties with Malaysian billionaire businessman Jho Low (photo).

Yeo was said to have stayed overnight at Low's apartment and had been on the latter's private jet at least three times.

In November, Yak Yew Che was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison and a fine for forgery and failing to disclose suspicious transactions related to Low, a key figure in the 1MDB scandal.

Another banker, Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, was sentenced to two weeks in prison for similar offences.

According to Bloomberg, both Yak and Seah have decided not to appeal their cases.

1MDB, which is at the heart of several money laundering investigations across the world, has consistently denied that any money had been misappropriated.

The island republic has already imposed a total of US$29.1 million (RM90.5 million) in penalties on eight banks as part of its 1MDB investigations.

Bloomberg reported Credit Suisse Group AG and United Overseas Bank Ltd to be among the firms that paid penalties, while BSI and Falcon Private Bank Ltd were also ordered to shut their local operations.

The 1MDB caper is also subject to a civil forfeiture action by the US Department of Justice and ongoing investigations in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

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