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Man jailed for market manipulation, unauthorized trading and cheating

SINGAPORE: A 36-year-old man was sentenced to three years and three months’ jail on Tuesday (Jul 26) for manipulating the share price of Sky One Holdings Limited and other offences.

Justin Goh Hanshi pleaded guilty to 12 charges, including nine under the Securities and Futures Act for market manipulation and unauthorized trading.

The other three charges were for cheating two financial institutions into disbursing hundreds of thousands of dollars to accounts controlled by Goh.

Another 21 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

In a news release, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said that in September and October 2013, Goh had directed three trading representatives to “push up and maintain” the share price of Sky One Holdings.

At the time, the company was listed on the Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) Catalist platform for fast-growing enterprises.

The three representatives used 15 trading accounts belonging to their clients, friends and family to buy and sell Sky One shares to manipulate the market.

Goh also used 12 trading accounts belonging to his friends and family to “conduct trades for his own benefit”, said the SPF.

All the trades were performed without the consent of the respective trading firms, the police added.

Investigations also revealed that Goh “instigated” three nominees – who were his friends and family members – to open share financing accounts with two financial institutions.

Although the accounts were opened in the nominees’ names, it was Goh who had “full and effective control” over them, said the police.

Goh then arranged for Sky One shares to be transferred to the nominees. He used the shares as collateral for a loan, which he used to buy more shares.

He again used the new shares as collateral to borrow more money.

In total, the financial institutions involved were cheated into disbursing more than S$4.2 million to the accounts controlled by Goh.

On Oct 28, 2013, Sky One shares opened at S$0.46. By about 10.50am, the price plummeted to S$0.043, a 90 per cent drop.

Following the crash of Sky One’s share price, the financial institutions sold the shares that had been pledged to them.

The institutions are still owed at least S$779,845.96, said the police.

The three trading representatives were also convicted of unauthorized trading and sentenced to three months to three and a half months’ jail.

The three nominees have also been hauled to court. One has been sentenced to eight months’ jail for cheating, while court proceedings against the other two are ongoing.

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