Mystery of the missing $33M and where’s the lawyer? - Handshakes

Mystery of the missing $33M and where’s the lawyer?

We search for answers to the mystery disappearance of Allied Technologies’ S$33 million held in escrow by law firm JLC Advisors.
Jeffrey Ong image
Jeffrey Ong Su Aun went missing in May 2019, before being caught by Malaysian authorities.

On May 2019, Allied Tech filed a police report over an unauthorised payout of S$33 million from its escrow account, an account held by JLC Advisors. It was believed that JLC Advisors’ managing director, Jeffrey Ong Su Aun, had authorised the payout before going missing.

Now faced with criminal charges, the case of Jeffrey Ong reminds us of the need to perform due diligence and background checks.

Investigating with the Handshakes app

The Handshakes app is a powerful tool for know-your-client (KYC) processing, vendor screening and forensic accounting; one power feature is its ability to identify and map connections between persons and entities, with just a few clicks.

The App empowers the user to ask the right questions because any entity or individual that is linked to one or more Regulatory, Enforcement and Disciplinary (“RED”) events is clearly highlighted in red on our maps. This is so that users are alerted – at a glance – to potential areas of trouble.

To illustrate this power, we searched for “Jeffrey Ong” and many connected RED entities appear immediately in his network.

 

Radial map: What you see if you search for “Jeffrey Ong”

 

Immediate red flags surrounding Jeffrey Ong

Jeffrey Ong is or was previously a Director of several SGX-listed companies that are linked to RED events, e.g., Annica Holdings Limited and Attilan Group Limited. Both companies were involved in a 2014 investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The map also showed that Jeffrey Ong was the target of the same CAD-MAS investigation.

There is more.

 

Jeffrey Ong and Annica Holdings Ltd

(Refer to above Radial map)

The Radial search also raised some RED flags over Jeffrey Ong’s connections with Annica Holdings Limited, the company that was involved in the joint 2014 CAD and MAS investigation. He was an independent director of the company from July 2008 to May 2019 and the non-executive chairman of Annica Holdings from February 2017 to May 2019.

 

Jeffrey Ong, Jonathan Lim and Hady Hartono

Following the trail of the connection between Jeffrey Ong and Annica Holdings Ltd, the Handshakes App also uncovers one RED individual connected to Jeffrey Ong: Jonathan Lim Keng Hock.

Jonathan Lim was a shareholder of Annica Holdings, the RED company flagged earlier; he was also on the boards of Vallianz Holdings Ltd and Adventus Holdings Ltd together with Jeffrey Ong.

 

Interconnection map 1: Jeffrey Ong, Jonathan Lim and Hady Hartono

 

Both individuals were also connected via shareholdings in NGSC Ltd and KOP Ltd – two companies that are associated with RED list events.

NGSC Ltd also threw up another individual connected with Jeffrey Ong – Hady Hartono, who was a director of NGSC Ltd, and the executive director (and subsequently non-executive director), of KOP Ltd. JLC Advisors was the Escrow Agent of KOP Ltd during Hady Hartono’s tenure as director of KOP.

 

Jeffrey Ong, Nicholas Jeyaraj s/o Narayanan (“Nicholas”) and Goh Hin Calm

Finally, connecting the dots from Annica Holdings Ltd also revealed another RED listed individual – Nicholas. Both Nicholas and Jeffrey Ong received CAD notices seeking their assistance into investigations during the 2014 market misconduct investigations involving Annica Holdings and Attilan Group. Both were also on the board of Annica, with Nicholas also being an independent director of KLW Holdings Ltd from 12 October 2015 to 28 October 2016.

On 26 June 2015, KLW released an announcement on SGX-net stating that KLW had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as special auditors to carry out a special review on certain transactions that had happened in 2014 (“2014 Transactions”). JLC Advisors was also the legal counsel representing KLW in the 2014 Transactions.

 

Interconnection map 2: Relationships between Jeffrey Ong and Nicholas Jeyaraj s/o Narayanan

 

Nicholas was also the lawyer for Goh Hin Calm. In 2018, Goh Hin Calm was charged with six corresponding counts under Section 197 SFA and Section 109 PC, for intentionally aiding John Soh and Quah Su Ling to create the false appearance with respect to the market for Blumont, Asiasons and LionGold shares during the these periods.

So, who’s Goh Hin Calm?

Remember the two companies flagged RED earlier? Well, like Jeffrey Ong and Jonathan Lim, Goh was also a Director of Annica and a shareholder of Attilan.


 

 

As seen, the Handshakes App is a powerful tool that can unravel a whole web of connections and relationships between companies and individuals – in the case above, just by starting with a basic search of “Jeffrey Ong”.

We also offer customised service to clients looking to perform similar, more one-off investigations. Our Handshakes Xpert team are trained to leverage our datasets and analytics tools to the fullest, take over complex tasks and deliver actionable insights to your team quickly and cost-efficiently.