Regulators charge culprits of ‘largest market manipulation case in Singapore’

‘Masterminds’ behind the penny stock crash found guilty by Singapore authorities.

Regulatory and police authorities have charged a couple in what has been called the largest market manipulation case in Singapore’s history.

Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su-Ling were found guilty of massive fraud to manipulate market shares between August 2012 and October 2013.

The manipulation resulted in the penny stock crash that wiped out 8 billion Singapore dollars in value over two days in October 2013 and a loss of confidence in Singapore’s financial markets.

The Attorney General’s Chambers, Singapore (AGC), Commercial Affairs Department, Singapore Police Force (CAD) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) found the couple and an accomplice had “carried out manipulative trades.”

The fraud involved the use of a ‘web’ of over 180 trading accounts to carry out manipulative trades in Blumont, Asiasons and LionGold shares on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The accounts belonged to 59 individuals and corporate nominees, who handed control of their accounts over to the couple, the authorities found.

Goldman Sachs and Interactive Brokers were duped into extending more than $170 million in margin financing to the accounts at the time.

The couple have been charged with six counts of conspiring to create a false appearance with respect to the market and four counts of conspiring to manipulate and support the share prices shortly before their collapse.