A man has been jailed for 15 months after using a bogus university degree to land a high-paying job for more than a decade. Defendant Yeoh Keng Swee, 55, pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery with intent to defraud, and the other 10 counts were also taken into consideration when sentencing.
The defendant forged Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) bachelor’s degree diploma in accounting in 2009, and then forged diplomas from other universities later. Yeoh forged various degree certificates from universities like NTU and the National University of Singapore (NUS) for subjects like engineering and law, in order to apply for jobs ranging from managerial positions to chief finance officer. He would search for PDF copies of the documents he wanted and print them out as templates before printing out his name and other details onto another piece of paper.
Court documents showed only three jobs he applied for in recent years using the fake diploma. The defendant was hired as a financial director of a construction company in September 2019, but left the job in December of the same year after receiving complaints about poor performance. In January 2020, an electrical appliance company hired him as the chief financial officer. He took the job a month later, but was also fired in July for not performing up to par.
This was until November 2020, when the defendant went to a construction company for an interview and the prospective employer asked for his degree certificates to be verified after he could not answer several technical questions properly. The defendant grew worried and withdrew his job application. He also asked the prsopective employer to destroy all the documents he had submitted to the. NTU later reported Yeoh to the police in January 2021.
Yeoh now works as a kitchen assistant-cum-cashier earning $850 to $1,000 monthly. He asked the judge to place a gag order on the reporters and prevent them from reporting on his identity. The judge refused to grant him his request as it was a public hearing.