A man who helped stage a car accident in hopes of getting an insurance payout has been sentenced to jail.
Lim Yong Jun, 25, had lent his car to his friend in order to carry out the plot.
It had involved lodging fraudulent personal injury and vehicle damage insurance claims of around S$67,000, Today reported.
In Feb. 2021, Lim’s was approached by a friend, Chew Kuo Choon.
Chew suggested that Lim use his car — which was actually registered under Lim’s grandfather’s name — to stage an accident in order to lodge false insurance claims.
By participating in the plot, Lim would be able to earn money through the insurance claim and get free car repairs at Teamwork Garage, the motor vehicle company where Chew worked, Chew said.
Lim agreed to the idea.
On Feb. 25, the two men met up for dinner with two other friends, Koh Yi Ming and Terrine Ng Qian Hui.
Koh was also working at Teamwork Garage and Ng was Koh’s girlfriend.
The three men agreed to use Lim’s car to stage the accident. Chew would drive and Lim would be in the passenger seat.
Meanwhile, Koh and Ng would follow behind in hopes of later approaching the other driver and persuading him to send his car to Teamwork Garage for repairs.
The “accident” took place while Chew was driving along Sims Avenue at 11pm.
He noticed a car pulling out from a parking lot and drove forward to collide with it.
After the collision, Lim gave his details to the other driver while Koh, pretending not to know them, approached him and offered to recommend a workshop.
However, the man refused.
Chew later drove Lim’s car to the Teamwork Garage workshop and gave Lim a replacement car.
He then approached another friend, Alex Lau, to pose as a phantom passenger, so as to make a fraudulent personal injury claim.
The trio subsequently went to a Our Family Physician Clinic & Surgery at Tampines to collect medical certificates, claiming they had been in a traffic accident and were in pain.
Lim also filed a false police report over the accident on Chew’s instruction.
A zombie following instructions
In total, the fraudulent claims amounted to around S$67,000.
This included five fraudulent personal injury claims amounting to S$56,217, and a false vehicle damage insurance claim on behalf of Lim’s grandfather amounting to S$11,167.
According to Today, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Teh noted that this plan was well-organised and difficult to detect.
He added that while Lim had not been the mastermind, he provided the car to stage the accident and was in the car at the time.
But he also noted that Lim had been diagnosed to have dependent personality disorder and persistent depressive disorder.
The former is characterised by excessive emotional and practical reliance on other people, an inability to make decisions without support, and passive or submissive behaviour.
In pleading for a lighter sentence, Lim’s lawer, Dhillon Singh, called Lim a “blind man” whose condition had led him to be completely manipulated by Chew.
“He was merely a zombie following the instructions of the co-accused.”
For cheating and providing false information regarding an offence committed, Lim was sentenced to four months and four weeks’ jail.
The other parties in the case, Koh and Lau, were sentenced to 16 months and two weeks’ jail and four months and two weeks’ jail respectively.
The former was also fined S$3,500 and disqualified from driving for 10 months.
Meanwhile, Chew’s case is still pending.
For giving false information regarding an offence committed, Lim could have been jailed up to two years, fined, or both.
For cheating, he could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.
Top photo from Lee Zahela/Google Maps