Woman behind ‘milk blessing’ group under probe, barred from fundraising

SINGAPORE: A woman alleged to have cheated several people who raised money on crowdfunding platforms is being investigated by the police for possible criminal offences, and has been barred by the Commissioner of Charities (COC) from raising funds for charitable purposes.

Ashlee Chua Jermaine, also known as Ashley Lee or Ian Ian, is linked to a Facebook closed group known as Ian Free Milk Blessing, which currently has more than 1,700 members.

Milk tins

The group is known to reach out to needy families that do not have the financial means to purchase sufficient formula milk, or have children suffering from chronic or congenital illness.

Ashlee allegedly cheated at least three beneficiaries of charity campaigns conducted on the GIVE.asia crowdfunding platform, said The Office of the Commissioner of Charities in a press statement on Friday (Jun 29). The beneficiaries had reported that Ashlee became uncontactable after they transferred money to her. 

Free Milk Blessing

Ashlee is also alleged to be behind a fundraising appeal conducted by the Ian Free Milk Blessing group on GIVE.asia, said COC. 

"The funds raised from the fundraising appeal were purportedly transferred to Ashlee, who has not provided any accountability on how these funds have been used," said the COC. 

COC also said that Ashlee has yet to comply with an order it issued under the Charities Act earlier this year for information about the Ian Free Milk Blessing Facebook group, and faces an offence for it.

Ashlee, who is an undischarged bankrupt, is also being investigated by the Singapore Police Force for suspected criminal offences. 

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"The COC is satisfied that Ashlee is not a fit and proper person to conduct fundraising appeals for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes and that it is in the public interest to prohibit Ashlee from conducting such fundraising appeals," it said.

"The COC has therefore decided to prohibit Ashlee from conducting any fund-raising appeals with effect from Jun 29, 2018," it added.