Malaysian businessman John Soh Chee Wen was sentenced today to 36 years’ jail after being found guilty of masterminding Singapore’s biggest stock market manipulation that wiped out nearly S$8 billion in 2013, several news outlets reported.

Soh’s co-conspirator Quah Su-Ling was sentenced to 20 years’ jail, The Edge Singapore and Channel News Asia reported.

The Straits Times reported that Soh and Quah – now aged 62 and 57 respectively – are appealing against their Singapore jail sentences.

According to The Edge Singapore, the prosecution wanted 40 years in jail for Soh and 19-and-a-half for Quah.

In the largest stock market manipulation case in Singapore, the duo were accused of manipulating three penny stocks – Blumont Group Ltd (Blumont), Asiasons Capital Ltd (Asiasons) and LionGold Corp Ltd (LionGold) known collectively as BAL shares – by artificially inflating their share prices.

The BAL share prices collapsed on October 4, 2013 which resulted in US$8 billion (RM25.3 billion) being wiped out from the Singapore stock market.

The Singapore High Court found Soh guilty of 180 out of the 188 charges on May 5 while Quah was convicted of 169 out of 178 charges.

The criminal conspiracy charges which they were found guilty of covered forced trading, price manipulation and deception.