Serial cheat given second corrective training for reoffending after earlier release

SINGAPORE – A serial conwoman who was sentenced to six years’ corrective training for cheating in 2010, only to reoffend after her release, was ordered to undergo corrective training for the second time on Tuesday (Dec 14).

Chia Weven, 48, will now have to spend five years in jail.

Corrective training is reserved for repeat offenders and does not offer the usual one-third remission for good behaviour.

It is imposed when the court finds that the offender needs a substantial period of training for reformation. The maximum period for corrective training is 14 years.

The Singaporean committed multiple counts of theft and cheating in 2017 and 2018, involving more than $19,000.

On Nov 15, she pleaded guilty to five counts of cheating and a theft charge. Twelve other charges for similar offences were considered during sentencing.

Chia was at a prison volunteer’s home on July 25, 2017, when she stole about $10,000 worth of cash and valuables, including two gold necklaces.

On Dec 20 that year, she went to a female friend’s home and stole a credit card belonging to the woman’s sister who also lived there.

Chia then used it to buy a gold bracelet worth more than $600 later that day.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Lu Jia said in an earlier court proceeding: “After the accused appended a forged signature on the receipt, (a sales assistant) noticed that the signature looked different from the credit card and thus questioned the accused about the difference in the signatures.

“The accused reassured (the sales assistant) that the card was hers and explained that sometimes the signatures would look different.”

The sale went through and Chia went to a nearby pawnshop to pawn the bracelet, receiving less than $1,000 in cash. She used the money for personal expenses.

The next day, she went to another store and bought four pieces of gold jewellery worth more than $1,800 in total before pawning them. This time, she received about $1,300 in cash.

Her friend’s sister alerted the police that evening after noticing that somebody had made unauthorised transactions on her missing credit card.

A few days later, the friend asked Chia if she had stolen her sister’s credit card and made the unauthorised transactions.

Chia denied committing the offences, but came clean about what she had done a few weeks later, when the friend confronted her again.

Besides these offences, Chia also committed multiple counts of cheating and theft in 2018. She had made no restitution.