SINGAPORE – A woman who ran a Ponzi scheme cheated 22 victims between 2016 and 2018, causing them to lose nearly $700,000 in total.

Jaya Rethinasamy Ghandhi’s victims had given her money believing she had the capacity to deliver to them airline tickets and foreign exchange currencies.

At the time of the offences, the 54-year-old Singaporean did not have the licences to run a travel agency or a money-changing business.

On Wednesday (Nov 17), Jaya was sentenced to 25 months and five weeks’ jail. She was also fined $5,000.

She had earlier pleaded guilty to 20 charges including 16 counts of cheating. Another 158 charges were considered during sentencing.

Jaya’s troubles started in 2014, after she took a $300,000 loan from a credit company on behalf of one Shobagunasekharan and gave the money to the individual’s boyfriend.

But he made off with the sum and Jaya found herself in financial difficulties.

She did not renew the licence for My Travel and Tours, a travel agency she started in 2013, and after the licence expired in December 2014, she wound up the business.

She then tapped her experience in the travel business to pay off her debts, but ended up duping her victims.

Jaya sold airline tickets on the condition that the tickets would not be issued immediately.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Jia En told the court: “Instead, the accused would give them a deadline when she would issue the tickets, which would usually be around three weeks before the flight.”

She would use…

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