S & P 500

Lim Tean charged with embezzlement of S$30,000 and criminal harassment

SINGAPORE: Lawyer and politician Lim Tean was charged on Thursday (May 12) with criminal breach of trust, criminal harassment and being an unauthorized person who acted as a lawyer or solicitor.

The 57-year-old is facing a criminal breach of trust charge for allegedly embezzling S$30,000 entrusted to him between November 14, 2019 and December 4, 2019, according to the indictments.

Police said on Tuesday that the sum was awarded to Lim’s former client in settlement of a civil lawsuit for a car accident.

Lim also faces three charges of being an unauthorized person who acted as a lawyer or attorney. He is suspected of having initiated, prosecuted or defended legal proceedings for clients on 32 occasions between April 1, 2021 and June 4, 2021.

These include attending a hearing in the defamation suit brought by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong against Mr. Terry Xu, editor of the former newspaper The Online Citizen, on April 19 from Last year. Lim was Mr. Xu’s lawyer.

He is also suspected of having prepared documents and instruments relating to legal proceedings on 33 occasions between April 1, 2021 and June 9, 2021, and of filing a lawsuit while acting for Jiangsu New Huaming. International Trading on April 1, 2021.

Police said Tuesday that Lim allegedly acted as a barrister or attorney without a valid practicing certificate. Practice certificates are renewed annually for each practice year, which runs from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.

Lim was also charged with criminal harassment. The charge relates to the alleged harassment of a former employee of Lim’s law firm in 2020.

Police previously said the employee referred them to the text messages she and Lim exchanged.

Between April and May 2020, Lim is accused of repeatedly texting her flirtatiously, causing her distress, according to the indictments.

Assistant Attorney General Edwin Soh said police need a further two months to investigate other potential offenses involving cheating and criminal breach of trust, with a possibility of Lim receiving more charges.

Lim will return to court in July for a pre-trial. A number of his supporters attended the hearing in state court on Thursday morning.

After the hearing, Lim addressed them outside the building, thanking them for their support. Among the group were Mrs. Iris Koh, founder of the Healing the Divide Group, her husband Mr. Raymond Ng and blogger Mr. Leong Sze Hian.