17 May 2012
In what appears to be the first of such offence committed under the Stamp Duties Act, a property agent in Singapore, Mr Desmond Tan Hock Heng, was found to have forged stamp certificates.
He was jailed for 12 weeks on 15 May 2012 after pleading guilty to give charges of the use of counterfeit stamp certificates, with another three charges taken into consideration for sentencing.
A total of $3,694 was involved using eight counterfeit stamp “certificates” in seven property rental transactions. Using a genuine stamp certificate obtained from a previous property transaction handled in January 2011, Desmond Tan altered property details such as the addresses, names of the landlords and tenants, stamp duty amounts, stamp certificate issued dates, and dates of documents.
Desmond Tan was a property agent with the Dennis Wee Group (DWG) in 2008. He joined the HSR Property Group (HSR) from July 2010 to April 2011. He subsequently re-joined DWG in April 2011 but left again in August 2011.
Any individual or business that deliberately counterfeits stamp certificates and knowingly misrepresents that such counterfeit stamp “certificates” are “genuine” will have to face penalties of up to $10,000 and/or up to three years’ imprisonment. Stiff penalties of up to four times the stamp duty may also be imposed for late or non-stamping of documents.