Singapore Supreme Court (photo courtsy of Terence Ong).

High Court convicts masterminds in 2013 Penny Stocks Crash

Soh and Quah controlled 187 trading accounts to manipulate stock prices.

The High Court has convicted Soh Chee Wen and Quah Suh-Ling for 180 charges of market manipulation and 169 charges of cheating offences involving the share manipulation of Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital, and LionGold Corp. 

This is the largest market manipulation case in Singapore's history, according to the High Court.

Soh–also known as John Soh– and Quah were found guilty of manipulating the market and prices of the three companies’ shares between August 2012 and October 2013. 

The two controlled 187 trading accounts belonging to 58 individuals and corporates, trading between the controlled accounts to generate artificial liquidity and demand for these shares, to cause the share prices to rise over time, the High Court found.

Soh and Quah will be sentenced at a later date. They face imprisonment of up to seven years or a fine of up to $250,000, or both for each charge under sections 197 and 201 of the SFA; imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine, for each charge under section 420 of the penal code (PC); imprisonment of up to seven years, a fine or both for each charge under section 204A of the PC; and imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both for each charge under section 148 of the CA.

During investigations, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force and MAS raided over 50 locations and interviewed more than 70 people. Over two million emails, half a million trade orders, and thousands of telephone records and financial statements were also recovered.

A third accused person, Goh Hin Calm, was earlier convicted on 20 March 2019. Goh, an accomplice to Soh and Quah, pleaded guilty to two charges under Section 197 of the SFA for intentionally aiding the duo to create the false appearance with respect to the market for Blumont and Asiasons shares between 18 March and 3 October 2013. He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

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