Miss Universe Singapore 2017 contestant, Ashley Rita Wong Kai Lin, was sentenced to six weeks' jail on Feb. 11 after she memorised two of her friends' debit card details and used them to spend over $2,000 online.
The 27-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty in December 2020 to four charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, as reported by The Straits Times.
Another 27 charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
According to court documents seen by Mothership, the offences took place in 2016.
The first victim is a 28-year-old man who had befriended Wong through a mutual friend in August 2016.
Wong went out socially with him on several occasions, as she was feeling down after a break-up.
Memorised his card details without his knowledge
During one of their outings, the man had left his wallet on the table while he used the toilet.
Wong took the man's POSB Mastercard debit card from his wallet and memorised the card details without his knowledge.
The man subsequently realised that there were unauthorised transactions on the his debit card. He confronted Wong about it, and Wong admitted to him that she was responsible for the transactions.
Used his cards on 21 occasions
Court documents stated that Wong had used his card on 21 occasions between August 2016 and September 2016.
The purchases include S$304.56 from Viagogo, S$230.83 from Lazada Singapore, and S$196.82 from online fashion store Showpo.
The man was able to dispute one of the transactions with his bank and was refunded that amount in full. Wong has returned him the money for two other transactions.
The second victim is a 26-year-old woman who had known Wong for some time prior to 2016.
Insufficient funds in bank account
Sometime in July 2016, the woman attempted to make some online payments with her DBS debit card.
But she was unable to do so as there were insufficient funds in her bank account, despite her father having transferred about S$1,000 to her.
When the woman checked her account, which was linked to her debit card, she noticed two charges on the card she did not authorise.
When she found out that Wong had used the card details of others without authorisation, she confronted Wong, who admitted to having memorised the the woman's debit card details when it was left unattended at an earlier occasion.
Booked an accommodation at a hotel
Wong had used those details to make online purchases on July 18, 2016.
One of the purchases included booking an accommodation at Hotel Clover amounting to S$264.83.
According to court documents, the woman disputed the transaction with DBS bank and was refunded in full, with the bank recovering its losses from Hotel Clover.
Wong has also repaid the hotel S$264.
For each charge of unauthorised access to computer material, Wong could have been jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$5,000, or both.
A repeat offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $10,000.
"What I did was completely f***** up"
In a statement posted on her Instagram account on Dec. 24, 2020, Wong publicly apologised to her friends and thanked them for calling her out.
She also said that has been seeking treatment from a psychiatrist.
"What I did was completely f***ed up. It was the wake up call that I needed to snap out of the post-break up pit of depression I was in after being cheated on."
You can read her full statement here:
Psychiatric expert couldn't conclude that Wong had depression
According to court reporting done by CNA, however, the defence counsel's psychiatric expert could not conclude that Wong was suffering from a condition at the time of her offences.
In addition, a mandatory treatment order report showed no contributory link between any disorder and the offences Wong had committed.
The prosecution also argued that the victims had not forgiven Wong. One of them had since cut off contact with her, according to CNA.
On the other hand, the defence counsel said that Wong had demonstrated genuine remorse and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
The defence also argued, as reported by CNA, that Wong's offences required "minimal criminal expertise" as she "merely memorised card details".
The judge for the case noted that Wong had no previous convictions and has made as much restitution as possible.
However, she concluded that deterrence remained the key consideration.
Top images from Ashley Rita Wong/IG.