Singapore finds duo guilty in 2013 stock manipulation case

·2-min read
Singapore’s High Court has convicted the main duo linked to a penny-stock rout that wiped out S$8 billion almost 10 years ago. (PHOTO: Roslan RAHMAN/AFP)
Singapore’s High Court has convicted the main duo linked to a penny-stock rout that wiped out S$8 billion almost 10 years ago. (PHOTO: Roslan RAHMAN/AFP)

(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s High Court convicted the main duo linked to a penny-stock rout that wiped out S$8 billion almost 10 years ago, in what prosecutors termed as the city-state’s most serious case of market manipulation.

Malaysian businessman John Soh Chee Wen and Quah Su-Ling were found guilty for their roles in the stock crash, during a hearing in front of a packed courtroom on Thursday. The pair had faced over 100 charges each for accusations ranging from deception to price manipulation and witness tampering, and were found guilty of the majority of them.

The conviction is the culmination of years of investigation and a subsequent court trial into the rout that was blamed at that time for denting investor confidence and falling trading volumes. The trading irregularities related to three Singapore-listed companies whose stocks surged by at least 800% over nine months before they plunged during three days in October 2013.

Soh and Quah will be sentenced at a later date, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Police Force said in a joint statement. The duo will face imprisonment and fines under the charges, according to the statement.

Authorities raided more than 50 locations and interviewed over 70 individuals as part of the investigation. Evidence included more than two million emails, thousands of financial statements and phone records, and half a million trade orders, the MAS and the police said.

Soh’s lawyers at K&L Gates Straits Law LLC said in response to a query from Bloomberg News that they are “studying the detailed judgment.” Quah was not represented in court.

—With assistance from Andrea Tan, Derek Wallbank, Low De Wei and Ville Heiskanen.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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