A plastic surgeon was fined a total of $13,000 on Monday for installing a spyware program on his laptop to intercept data belonging to his then wife, and unlawfully accessing data in the Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) computer system.
Leo Kah Woon, 42, was with SGH when he committed three offences, including accessing the hospital’s computer system to search for information on his wife’s alleged lover, Mr Ang Choo Pin, 38, in 2012.
Leo and Ms Nellie Tan Li Khoon, 39, who have two children, have since divorced. Ms Tan was recently fined $3,500 for abetting a private investigator to unlawfully access Leo’s Asus laptop on Dec 18, 2012. The court heard that Leo evicted his wife from their matrimonial home in September 2012 after he suspected her of having an affair.
Leo had installed a keylogging software in his MacBook Pro computer shared with his wife to capture the keystrokes and take periodic screenshots when she used the computer, and sent the information to his e-mail account.
Using the software, he intercepted without authority the functions of the laptop relating to his wife’s communications. She became upset when he alluded to private information from her e-mails and chats on several occasions. He had used the information for their divorce proceedings in the Family Court.
Ms Tan’s suspicions about the interception were confirmed when she sent the laptop to be checked.
Relating the facts of the unauthorised access to the SGH system, Deputy Public Prosecutor April Phang said sometime in September 2012, Leo suspected Mr Ang was having an affair with his wife.
Leo found out more about Mr Ang’s wife, identifying her as Ms Xu. He got her contact details from the SGH system, and passed her mobile number to his sister. He told his sister to call Ms Xu and claim they had photographic evidence from a private eye and SMS evidence that Mr Ang had an affair.
Ms Xu came to know about her husband’s infidelity from that call.
Mr Ang subsequently lodged complaints with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) and the police that Leo had abused the SGH system to obtain personal information, and made baseless allegations of adultery against him in an effort to destroy his marriage. The SMC complaints committee concluded that no formal inquiry was necessary and issued a letter of advice to Leo.
Leo, represented by Mr Wendell Wong, could have been fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to three years for intercepting communications from Ms Tan’s laptop by using the keylogger software.
The maximum penalty for unlawful access to data in the computer system is a $5,000 fine and two years’ jail.