Would you pay $3,800 for a ‘lucky’ talisman?
Some people did – after they were taken in by a couple who told them that their talismans could bring them fortune.
Both retirees (above), Ong Choon Lin, 66, a Singaporean, and his wife, Ng Kim Yew, 60, a Malaysian, have been accused of cheating nine people of about $810,000 over 10 years by duping them into buying the supposedly powerful talismans.
It surfaced at the start of their court trial today that their ruse caused three victims to suffer the most losses – a total of nearly half a million dollars for the ‘personalised’ charms, according to a Shin Min Daily News report
It was reported in the local media earlier this year that the couple managed to allegedly convince their victims into believing that a spiritual master from Thailand or Tibet would personally write the talismans dedicated to them.
In today’s trial, Shin Min and Lianhe Wanbao reported they were slapped with more charges – on top of the initial 29 brought against each of them in March. Ng saw her charges jumped to 43, while her husband now faces 38 charges.
Related: Couple cheated 6 of $657,000 by promising personalised talisman
After their case was heard in March, it was reported that six of their victims were allegedly conned of a total of between $11,000 and $308,688 each.
It also emerged today that three more people fell for their ruse, bringing the total number of victims to nine. The alleged offences took place between 2004 and last year.
If found guilty, the maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years’ jail and a fine for each charge.