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Boyfriend of “faked talent” jailed for abetting him to defraud government

In a media report yesterday (13 Nov), a Singaporean male doctor, Ler Teck Siang, who submitted his own blood sample in place of his HIV-positive boyfriend's, to help the American get an employment pass here, has been sentenced to two years' jail.

Ler was jailed for abetment of cheating and for giving a false statement to a public servant. His American boyfriend, Farrera-Brochez, was already sentenced to 28 months' jail last year for offences including cheating, lying to a public servant, possessing drugs and using forged educational certificates.

Ler and Farrera-Brochez both met online initially and in 2008, Farrera-Brochez decided to come to Singapore to meet Ler. In order for both to be together, Farrera-Brochez then tried to get a job and applied for an Employment Pass in order to continue to stay in Singapore.

As Farrera-Brochez is HIV positive, Ler provided his blood sample instead for tests at his clinic in order to cover up his boyfriend's HIV status so that he could successfully apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore.

Foreign talent is a "genius child prodigy"

According to an interview he gave to a local media in 2010, Farrera-Brochez was supposed to be a super genius, able to read, write and speak fluently in Hebrew, Spanish and English by the age of 3.

His gifted abilities did not stop there. He is also an "experienced child and educational psychologist" who can converse in eight languages.

He was recruited by Temasek Polytechnic to teach in two courses - Diploma in Early Childhood Studies and Diploma in Psychology Studies. Temasek Polytechnic was so impressed with him that it allowed him to play a key role in setting up a Child Psychology Clinic within the polytechnic, where he would provide consultancy and assessment for exceptional children.

"I didn't know I was a gifted child initially. I also didn't know I was speaking in three different languages then," he told the reporter.

He said he was a successful "laboratory rat" of his mother, Dr Teresa King, a renowned professor of child and adolescent psychology, child neurology and gifted science and mathematics education in the UK. He said his mother tried out "many of her theories on gifted education" on him when he was young.

He credits her for his achievement in becoming the youngest registered psychologist in the history of the American Psychological Association. "My mother is a really big influence in my life. I would not have made it without all her help and guidance," he said.

And by 13, he was enrolled in Princeton University. He added that he was eventually awarded two master's degrees from Vanderbilt University.

After that, he dabbled in various vocations and traveled around the world. He knew for sure, however, that he wanted to build a career that he could call his own, without relying on any of his family members, such as his successful mother, he told the reporter.

A lying fantasist

However, after his conviction last year, UK Independent tried to locate Dr Teresa King, the renowned UK professor mentioned by Farrera-Brochez to be his mother.

UK Independent reported:

If Mr Farrera-Brochez’s mother is a “renowned professor”, she may be a very elusive “renowned professor”. The Independent could not immediately find any psychologist, anywhere in the world, with the name given by Mr Farrera-Brochez who specialised in child and adolescent psychology, child neurology, or gifted science and mathematics education.

As for the top-notch educational qualifications touted by Farrera-Brochez, they were found to be forged.

In fact, his ruse worked so well that Farrera-Brochez used Ler's blood again to apply for a personalised employment pass in 2013. The Personalised Employment Pass is meant for high-earning Employment Pass holders and overseas foreign professionals. It is not tied to an employer and offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.

He succeeded in keeping up the pretence until sometime in 2016. "Precisely how he was caught has not been disclosed, but it is possible he fell foul of Singapore’s strict anti-drugs laws," UK Independent reported.

One of the charges for which he was convicted was the possession of Ketamine and cannabis.

The million dollar question is, of course, how did he manage to fool MOM and Temasek Polytechnic for so long with his forged qualifications?

And how did he even fool Temasek Polytechnic to set up the Child Psychology Clinic within the polytechnic for him to provide consultancy and assessment services?