Former RGM Entertainment CEO Devesh Chetty has been jailed on three charges of forgery, including two related to investments by Singapore’s Media Development Authority.
Chetty, an Australian citizen and Singapore resident, was sentenced by the Singapore courts to 22 weeks in prison for covering up three tranches of missing funds amounting to $12.5m ($S17m).
Local media reported that, in 2011, the MDA had asked Chetty to account for two investments amounting to $11m ($S15m) that were advanced to him in 2010 and 2011. Chetty then forged two bank statements by altering the dates to make it appear that the money was still in RGM’s account.
The MDA had an agreement with RGM to set up Singapore-based film funds and believed the investments were seeding two separate funds – one with Twentieth Century Fox and the other with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Leong Weng Tat told that court that the missing money had been used to pay off part of RGM’s overdue loans.
The third count of forgery was related to the attempted acquisition of a stake in Singapore-based cinema chain Golden Village Cinemas.
Chetty forged a third bank statement when an investor chased him for returns on the $1.5m (S$2m) he had given to Chetty’s Sachmo International to buy shares in Golden Village owner Dartina Development. The forged statement showed a bank balance of $4m (S$5.5m) when the account only had a “nominal balance”, according to Leong.
The now defunct RGM Entertainment, part of Australia’s RGM talent and production group, moved to Singapore with incentives from the MDA. In recent years, the government agency has moved away from trying to position Singapore as a global financing hub towards smaller investments in local films and co-productions.