A 17-YEAR-OLD girl pleaded guilty yesterday to extorting $150,000 from a 22-year-old man by threatening to upload a nude video of him over the Internet.
Yap Siew Ting got the video through an Internet chat scam she carried out last year, allegedly with her boyfriend.
She was arrested after the 22-year-old, who cannot be named by court order, reported it to the police on Feb 26.
But before that, the man had already paid $97,350 via 89 fund transfers to different POSB savings accounts.
Yesterday, Yap, who is not studying or working, also pleaded guilty to the attempted extortion of $10,000 from another man, aged 24.
She will be sentenced later this month.
The scam by Yap and her alleged accomplice Alexander Soh Zhi Ren, 22, took place last year.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Darryl Soh told a Community Court yesterday that it was Soh who came up with the idea of cheating people over the Internet after reading a newspaper article.
This is how the scam went: Yap logged into Internet chatroom Alamak.com looking for men willing to chat with her.
She then moved the conversation to a private webcam chat and engaged in conversations with sexual overtones.
In the course of the chats, she got the men to remove their clothes, and Soh, who had hooked up a separate monitor by then, used his iPhone to record the men undressing.
The couple would then confront the victims with the video clips, and demand money in exchange for not uploading the clips on the Internet.
The 22-year-old victim paid by instalments till January this year, but on Feb 26, he went to the police as he could no longer continue transferring the money.
Two days later, the duo were arrested.
Yap’s lawyer Aloysius Tan, who represented her under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said she deserved a second chance as the entire episode had provided a valuable lesson for her.
He said that from a young age, she had to tolerate and endure beatings from her drunk father, who would also slap her mother.
Her parents divorced last year, and Yap, the younger of two girls, lives with her mother, a quality controller, who has sole custody of her.
Community Court Judge Ng Peng Hong will sentence her on June 26, after reading her pre-sentencing and reformative training reports.
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