ACCS Executives Jailed For Fraud

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Victor Tan Hor Peow, founder and former chief executive of Accord Customer Care Solutions (ACCS) was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for his role in an elaborate scam to falsely boost the company’s income by millions of dollars and cheat its customer, Nokia Singapore (mobile-phone manufacturer) for fictitious repair services. Tan had pleaded guilty to 21 charges for cheating Nokia, fraud and false financial reporting. The ACCS’s former general manager, Damien Ang, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for similar charges. ACCS’ former financial chief, Yip Hwai Chong Yip, who was jailed four years and four months.

Victor Tan was to face 19 counts of corruption. He was alleged to have given out a series of bribes between March 2003 and June 2004, to top managers at Nokia, Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific and M1 Shop.

Six of the charges involved bribes given to Fong Kit Sum, the General Manager of Customer and Market Operations at Nokia. She allegedly received assistance in acquiring 30,000 ACCS IPO shares, 200,000 ACCS shares, 50,000 CAM International shares and 50,000 Exelpoint IPO shares. Fong also received a cheque for close to S$8,700 dollars and a Louis Vuitton handbag. Tan is also alleged to have bribed Nokia’s After Market Services Regional Manager Simo Tapani Railovaara. He allegedly paid for his KTV entertainment worth over S$5000 at several lounges. Railovaara also received a $3,600 Brietling watch, a Samsung fridge, an EF Wine Cellar and a S$1000 holiday to Phuket. Another Nokia executive implicated is After Market Services Manager Ng Chin Kiong. He received help in getting 20,000 ACCS IPO shares, and was given a cheque for over S$7,000 for not continuing to check on over-claims made by ACCS on Nokia in 2003.

Police say the bribery also extended to Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific. An Assistant Director at its Singapore Operations Centre, Tan Kiat Boon, was helped to acquire 200,000 ACCS Shares, for recommending the service contract from Panasonic be awarded to ACCS in August 2004.

Tan also helped the General Manager of M1 Shop, Henry Hsu, acquire 50,000 Sinomen IPO shares and 200,000 ACCS shares.

Victor Tan had founded ACCS in 1999, when he recognized the immense business potential of after-market services for mobile communication devices and high-tech consumer products. As CEO, Mr Tan is responsible for developing and steering the strategic directions of ACCS. He also oversees the Mergers and Acquisitions, Quality Assurance and Corporate Affairs (Investor Relations, Public Relations and Legal) departments within the Group. Mr Tan was previously with Accord Express Holdings (AEH) where he played a critical role in the successful transformation of the AEH group from a traditional transport and freight forwarding company into a leading provider of third-party logistics in the region since 1996. He graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma in Business Administration.

In 2004, Victor Tan was named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young (EOY). This award presented by EOY annually to the world’s most successful and innovative entrepreneurs.

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