What Is Criminal Breach of Trust in Singapore?

by | Dec 2, 2022 | Attorney

Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) sounds complicated initially, but we can break it down for you. It often involves a misuse of property or funds and covers various activities.

Do you remember the corruption scandal surrounding the City Harvest Church? Six church leaders ended up misusing over $50 million of the church funds for the pastor’s wife (Kong Hee). This is a classic example, but other cases can include pawning a necklace you borrowed from a friend.

What Are the Elements of CBT?

Section 405 of the Penal Code says that CBT gets committed when a person is entrusted with property or has control over it and dishonestly:

• Uses or disposes of the property in violation of a contract or law
• Converts the property for his/her own use
• Misappropriates the property
• Deliberately allows others to do any of the above

To commit CBT, someone must have control over a property or be entrusted with it. For example, a banker is in charge of moving money to another account, and administrative staff might have to keep track of signed cheques.

Dishonesty means that the person wasn’t honest. They intended to cause someone to get a benefit wrongfully or to wrongfully cause a victim’s loss. Misappropriation is often involved here. It includes someone pocketing property that’s meant for something else.

Penalties for CBT

If you’re found guilty of committing a criminal breach of trust in Singapore, the punishment might include imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine. The court decides.

Traditionally, severe punishments are saved for crimes committed by bankers, public servants, lawyers, merchants, agents, key executives, and company directors. They might face fines and up to 20 years in prison

Being accused of a criminal breach of trust in Singapore is a big deal. It’s important to have a lawyer on your side, such as the ones at Bishop Law. Call on +65 6809 1164 for a consultation.

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