Lawyer charged with CBT involving client’s money of RM1.1 mil

Lawyer Dawn Shireen Lee Chao Chern (in mask) leaves the Sessions Court in George Town, Penang, after she was charged with CBT.

GEORGE TOWN: A lawyer was charged today with three counts of criminal breach of trust involving more than RM1 million meant for the purchase of a client’s condominium in Tanjung Tokong in 2017.

Dawn Shireen Lee Chao Chern, 45, from the legal firm Clement, Dawn & Associates, was alleged to have misappropriated a total of RM1,112,250 on three occasions in 2017.

The money was said to have been entrusted to her by a client, Cheng Kian Sim, for the purchase of a condominium in Tanjung Tokong through her firm at Green Hall.

Lee was alleged to have committed the offence at Maybank’s MWE Plaza branch and CIMB Bank’s Tanjong branch here on Aug 21, 2017, with funds amounting to RM166,250; on Oct 9, 2017 with funds amounting to RM700,000; and on Nov 20, 2017 with funds amounting to RM46,000.

She pleaded not guilty to the charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust by a public servant or agent, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping as well as a fine upon conviction.

Sessions judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid allowed bail of RM10,000 with one surety and set July 31 for case management.

Mazdi also ordered Lee to seek legal representation by the next court hearing or the hearing will continue without a lawyer to represent her.

The court was informed that Lee’s lawyer had “dropped out”.

Farah Aimy Zainul Anwar prosecuted, with M Thayalan representing Cheng, and S Ravi holding a watching brief for the Bar Council.

The Bar had suspended Lee from practising following a complaint that she had allegedly committed a dishonest act.

After today’s proceedings, as Lee walked out of the courtroom, Cheng and a few others followed her, demanding to know what happened to her money.

Lee continued walking without replying. She took the stairs instead of the lift but the group followed her, asking the same question over and over.