26 months' jail for Yang Yin over PR status fraud
FOR faking and lying his way to a Singapore permanent residency, former China tour guide Yang Yin was sentenced to two years and two months in jail yesterday - a punishment which the judge said should deter other foreigners from trying to stay here under false pretences.
Today, things could get worse for the 42-year-old.
He is expected to be sentenced for misappropriating $1.1 million from an elderly widow - for which the prosecution has asked for a jail term of 10 years to 12 years.
With a troubled expression, Yang stood in the dock hearing Deputy Presiding Judge of the State Courts Jennifer Marie list how he schemed his way to becoming a permanent resident.
Yang deceived the authorities, including the Ministry of Manpower and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, by using false documentation, including fake monthly payslips and financial statements to create the impression that his sham company, Young Music and Dance Studio, was a thriving one.
He also lied to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) that he was running a profitable business and earning a salary so they would grant him permanent resident (PR) status and his wife, a long-term visit pass.
In all, the prosecution proceeded with 120 charges out of 347 charges - most of which involved the falsification of receipts. The rest were taken into consideration for sentencing.
While Yang was a first-time offender with no previous criminal record, his offences were committed over an extended period of time.
Since Yang first made the news in 2014, when the widow's niece made him leave her aunt's house, pictures of him at grassroots activities had surfaced online.
His business card listed himself as the director of The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry and executive director of the Singapore Chinese Immigrants Association. He was none of those.
Yang also faked his degree, which he claimed was from the University of Financial Trade Beijing.
Yang's lawyer Irving Choh asked the court to take into account how Yang is the sole breadwinner for his aged parents, wife and kids aged three and eight.
But the judge accorded "little weight" to that submission.
When asked, Mr Choh said that his client would not be appealing against yesterday's sentence.
The ICA said that those who provide false information in their applications will be dealt with firmly.
Any PR who has been convicted of an offence will have their status reviewed by ICA.