SINGAPORE – Several notable names in the legal fraternity were purportedly cheated by a Singaporean businessman who is alleged to be involved in a $1 billion fraud scheme.

Ng Yu Zhi, 34, director of Envy Asset Management and Envy Global Trading, is said to have swindled investors into putting at least $1 billion into nickel deals that never took place. 

The investors were promised varying returns averaging 15 per cent over three months.

Ng, who was arrested in February, was previously facing 18 charges for cheating, fraudulent trading and forgery.

On Monday (June 28), he was slapped with another 13 similar charges.

He is accused of criminal breach of trust involving more than $200 million.

The alleged victims named in the new charges include the general counsel for Temasek Holdings Pek Siok Lan, criminal lawyer Sunil Sudheesan and ex-president of the Law Society Thio Shen Yi.

The lawyers were allegedly cheated of $5.5 million, $1 million and $87,000 respectively.

Other notable names allegedly cheated by Ng include the chairman of Vickers Capital Group Finian Tan and chief executive officer of Chuan Hup Holdings Terence Peh.

The charge sheets state that the investment professionals were swindled of US$19.2 million (S$25.8 million) and $3 million respectively.

As of last month, at least four lawsuits had been filed by investors seeking to claim some $50 million from Envy Global Trading and Ng.

The Commercial Affairs Department has seized about $100 million of assets from him.

Neither of Ng’s firms is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

It stated in March that it had been informed that Envy Asset Management claimed that it was applying for a licence, even though no application had been submitted.

Ng is out on bail of $1.5 million.

He has to continue wearing an electronic tag, and comply with a curfew from 10pm to 6am.

His bail is believed to be the highest sum imposed since electronic monitoring was introduced as a condition of bail in 2018.

He is expected to be back in court on July 5 for a bail review.

Last modified: June 28, 2021