SINGAPORE: A 33-year-old company director was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail on Wednesday (Mar 8) for conspiring with workers to inflate their salaries on paper to get more grants under a professional conversion programme (PCP).
Malaysian Lim De Xian pleaded guilty last month to two charges of cheating. Another two counts of falsifying payslips and an employment contract were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Lim was the sole director and shareholder of 7W Consultancy. He conspired with Xu Shaowen, a general manager and shareholder of the company, to submit a fraudulent application for Xu to the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) for funding under the PCP in December 2017.
Xu was sentenced to 13 weeks’ jail in November last year for his involvement in the case.
The PCP is funded by Workforce Singapore and administered by the SNEF. It helps mid-career professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who are Singaporeans or permanent residents to undergo skills conversion and take up new jobs.
Depending on the type of programme, PMETs would undergo training ranging from three to 24 months. It was rebranded as the career conversion programme in 2021.
Lim’s company applied for the three-month place-and-train professional conversion programme for Singapore citizens under 40, where the worker will be hired by a participating company before undergoing training to take on the new job role.
Participating companies receive salary support and course fee funding based on a percentage of the worker’s fixed monthly salary, subject to a cap.
Xu’s gross monthly salary from 7W Consultancy at the time was about S$1,250, but they agreed to indicate in the application that he received S$5,800 instead.
Xu studied the programme application criteria to determine the amount of salary to falsely declare and fixed the amount so that 7W Consultancy would receive the maximum salary support of S$4,000 per month for three months.