Agritrade International’s former CFO was further charged with defrauding financial institutions out of US$359 million

Qinthara Fasya | 29 November 2021

The former CFO was charged in court on November 26 with 12 more counts for allegedly deceiving seven financial institutions

According to the police, the former chief financial officer of commodity business Agritrade International was charged with 12 new charges in court on Friday (Nov 26) for allegedly defrauding seven financial institutions of US$359 million (S$492 million).

Lulu Lim Beng Kim reportedly deceived financial institutions into believing that the consolidated financial statements for Agritrade International and its subsidiary firms between 2016 and 2018 were audited, according to the Commercial Affairs Department’s investigation.

This was “a fact which she knew to be false”, the police said in a news release.

“By such a manner of deception, Lulu Lim had dishonestly induced the seven financial institutions to deliver monies through credit facilities to Agritrade International,” added the police.

According to the authorities, the total amount involved in the 12 counts amounted to US$359 million in withdrawals from credit and lending institutions.

Lim now faces a total of 14 accusations, including 13 counts of cheating and one count of aiding and abetting account falsification. The inquiry is still underway, according to the police.

Lim was charged with deceiving and dishonestly inducing a property delivery for the first time in September.

According to the authorities, Lim “tried to deceive the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Singapore Branch into believing that 19 bills of lading had been lawfully and properly pledged in the bank’s favor.”

In October 2019, the bank disbursed US$19.9 million to an Agritrade International supplier as a result of this.

A bill of lading is a document that a carrier issues to acknowledge the receipt of cargo for shipping.

Cheating involves a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a fine. Anyone convicted of fabricating accounting faces up to ten years in prison, a fine, or both.