Recent ICAC Cases


24
Nov 2020
Musical instrument wholesaler and duo charged with offering illegal rebates to instructors over purchase referralsA local wholesaler of musical instruments, its director cum shareholder and its sales director have been charged by the ICAC today (November 24) with offering illegal rebates totalling over $44,000 to five musical instrument instructors for referring students to purchase musical instruments from the wholesaler.Chairman Instruments Trading Limited (Chairman Instruments); Yeung Lok-wah, 46, director cum shareholder of Chairman Instruments; and Tang Pui-wun, 37, sales director of Chairman Instruments, jointly face six counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.The defendants will appear in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday (November 26) for plea.Chairman Instruments is a wholesaler of musical instruments in Hong Kong. At the material time, Yeung was the director cum major shareholder of Chairman Instruments responsible for its finance matters, while Tang was the sales director of the company.According to a prevailing arrangement, Chairman Instruments would offer rebates to musical instrument instructors who referred students to purchase musical instruments from Chairman Instruments.The charges allege that between on or about January 11, 2013 and on or about April 14, 2014, Chairman Instruments, Yeung and Tang, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered six rebates each ranging from over $1,400 to $20,000, totalling over $44,000, to five musical instrument instructors as an inducement to or reward for assisting and arranging six customers to purchase seven musical instruments from Chairman Instruments.The musical instrument instructors concerned were two private violin instructors, two private cello instructors and a musical instrument instructor of a music school, while the customers concerned were a student and mothers of five other students of the musical instrument instructors.It is alleged that four violins, two cellos and a viola were purchased by those customers from Chairman Instruments at totalling over $ 140,000. Approval for acceptance of rebates totalling over $44,000 had never been sought from those customers who were not aware of the rebate arrangement.Yeung and Tang have been released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance on Thursday.
23
Nov 2020
Frozen meat supplier gets thirty months’ jail for offering $860,000 illegal rebates to chefsAn operator of a frozen meat supplier, charged by the ICAC, was today (November 19) sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment at the District Court after being convicted of offering illegal rebates totalling over $860,000 to chefs of a Chinese restaurant and three hotels in relation to porklings supplied by his company.Cheung Chi-chiu, 48, operator of Cheung Sum Kee (CSK), was found guilty of four counts of conspiracy to offer advantages to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.In convicting the defendant and passing the sentence, Deputy Judge Mr Bernard Chung said the corrupt dealings, which lasted four years and involved considerable amount of illegal rebates, had brought the restaurant and hotels concerned into disrepute.The deputy judge added that a deterrent custodial sentence was necessary to convey a signal to the society that scheming to commit corruption was a serious crime.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was the operator of CSK, which supplied frozen porklings to various Chinese restaurants and hotels.In around 2014, the defendant and Chan Sang-pan, the supervisor of the Chinese barbecue section of Nanhai No.1 (NH1), agreed that rebates would be given to Chan Sang-pan at $70 per porkling ordered by the Chinese restaurant. Under the agreement, Chan Sang-pan would not make any complaints about the quality of foods supplied by CSK.Since then, the defendant had offered to Chan Sang-pan illegal rebates totalling about $260,000, including $7,380 wrapped in a brown envelope seized by ICAC officers when the defendant and Chan Sang-pan were arrested on January 3, 2018.The court heard that a similar illegal rebate agreement was also made between the defendant and Chan Chiu-fai, the supervisor of the Chinese barbecue section of InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong (IGS).It was agreed that the defendant would offer a $10 illegal rebate to Chan Chiu-fai for each porkling ordered by IGS with CSK. As a result, illegal rebates involving over $185,000 were offered between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2017.During the same period, the defendant also offered illegal rebates totalling about $417,000 to two supervisors of two other hotels’ Chinese barbecue sections.Chan Sang-pan and Chan Chiu-fai were also charged by the ICAC in separate cases for accepting illegal rebates. Chan Sang-pan was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to accept advantages as an agent. Chan Chiu-fai, who pleaded guilty to a similar charge, was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.NH1, IGS and the two other hotels concerned had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Lisa Remedios, assisted by ICAC officer Pius Chan.
23
Nov 2020
HyD subcontractor employee charged with fraud over false road inspection reportsAn employee of a subcontractor of the Highways Department (HyD) has been charged by the ICAC today (November 23) with conspiracy to defraud the HyD by submitting road inspection reports containing photographs with altered dates.Chui Ka-kin, 41, assistant to network manager of Wah Fung Engineering Company Limited (Wah Fung), faces five counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.The defendant will appear at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday (November 25) for plea.The case arose from a corruption complaint referred by the HyD. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above alleged offences.In 2017, the HyD awarded a term contract to Chiu Hing Construction and Transportation Company Limited (Chiu Hing), which then subcontracted related works to Wah Fung.Under the contract, Chiu Hing was required to deploy road inspectors to conduct regular road inspections on Hong Kong Island and prepare reports supported by real-time photographs of the roads taken during the inspections.At the material time, the defendant was employed by Wah Fung as an assistant to network manager to support a network manager of Chiu Hing in overseeing the aforesaid contract. Assistant road inspectors of Wah Fung were assigned to carry out inspections and prepare reports under the supervision of the defendant and the network manager of Chiu Hing.One of the charges alleges that between May 8 and June 30, 2017, the defendant conspired together with the aforesaid network manager of Chiu Hing and six then assistant road inspectors of Wah Fung to defraud the HyD by dishonestly submitting road inspection reports containing photographs of roads which were not taken on the dates specified on those photographs.Four other charges allege that between September 1 and October 31, 2017, the defendant conspired with four of the aforementioned six then assistant road inspectors respectively to defraud the HyD by similar fraudulent means.The defendant has allegedly deceived the HyD into believing that the actual conditions of the roads on the dates as specified on the photographs were as depicted in them.The HyD has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.The defendant has been released on ICAC bail, pending his court appearance on Wednesday.
12
Nov 2020
Ex-property manager sentenced to 23 months’ jail for fraud over $520,000 cleaning service feesA former property manager of a commercial and industrial building, charged by the ICAC, was today (November 12) sentenced to 23 months’ imprisonment at the District Court for defrauding the building’s Incorporated Owners (IO) of cleaning service fees totalling about $520,000 by concealing that his own company was engaged to provide the service.Lau Koon-hing, 67, former property manager of Hopeful Factory Centre (Hopeful), was earlier found guilty of four charges – two of fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance; one of attempted fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance and Section 159G of the Crimes Ordinance; and one of using a false instrument, contrary to Section 73 of the Crimes Ordinance.In sentencing, Deputy Judge Colin Wong Sze-cheung said the defendant had abused his position to engage a company owned by him to take up a cleaning job. The offences he committed were serious in nature and constituted a breach of trust.The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above offences.The court heard that Hopeful was a commercial and industrial building in Fo Tan. At the material time, the defendant was employed by the IO of Hopeful to oversee property management matters of the building.In February 2015, the defendant engaged Chun Wen Environmental Service Company (Chun Wen), which was set up by him in the same month, to provide cleaning service to Hopeful without the authorisation and approval from its IO. The IO of Hopeful was not aware of the change of cleaning service provider and the defendant had never disclosed his relationship with Chun Wen to the IO.As a result of the defendant’s fraudulent acts, monthly service fees ranging from $17,500 to over $21,500, totalling about $520,000, were paid by the IO of Hopeful to Chun Wen between February 2015 and May 2017.The court also heard that in March 2015, the defendant submitted a cleaning service contract purportedly entered between the management office of Hopeful and Chun Wen to a bank. Believing that it was a genuine contract, the bank approved the defendant’s application to open a bank account in the name of Chun Wen. The bank account was subsequently used to receive cleaning service fees paid by the IO of Hopeful.While the defendant would submit a summary listing out the salary of each staff member of the management office of Hopeful to the IO of Hopeful for payroll arrangement, he falsely represented in the summary submitted in April 2017 that his monthly salary was $21,000.As the chairman of the IO of Hopeful recalled that the defendant’s salary did not exceed $20,000, salary payment records were inspected. It was subsequently found that the defendant’s salary was increased by $600 in September 2015 without the approval of the IO of Hopeful, the court heard.The IO of Hopeful and the bank concerned had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Cannise Chan, assisted by ICAC officer Stephen Leung.
11
Nov 2020
Ex-employee of labour hire agency charged with fraud and theft over $3.1m wage paymentsA former employee of a labour hire agency was charged by the ICAC yesterday (November 10) with fraud and theft involving over $3.1 million by using false payroll documents of construction workers.Popo Chan Ka-po, 31, former human resources officer of Lingma Construction & Engineering Limited (Lingma), faces 14 charges – one of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance; and 13 of theft, contrary to Section 9 of the Theft Ordinance.The defendant will appear in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (November 12) for the case to be transferred to the District Court for plea.The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above alleged offences.Lingma is a labour hire agency which provides temporary labour and payroll services to construction companies. Between May 2017 and October 2018, Lingma supplied construction workers to three main contractors for four infrastructure projects. Wages of the workers were calculated on a daily basis and paid monthly.At the material time, the defendant was a human resources officer of Lingma responsible for handling payrolls of workers and arranging wage payments for the four aforesaid projects.One of the charges alleges that between August 1, 2017 and August 6, 2018, the defendant falsely represented to Lingma that 40 workers stated in the autopay transaction reports had attended work at the assigned workplaces and were entitled to the amount of wages stated, the bank account numbers stated in the reports belonged to those workers, and the related transaction files genuinely reflected the total amount of wages those workers were entitled to.The defendant, with intent to defraud, had allegedly induced Lingma to pay her a total sum of over $2.5 million which resulted in benefit to herself or in prejudice to Lingma.The remaining charges allege that on 13 occasions between August 7, 2017 and August 6, 2018, the defendant stole about $600,000 in total, ranging from about $7,800 to about $200,000 on each of the occasions, from Lingma.Lingma has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The defendant has been released on ICAC bail, pending her court appearance tomorrow.

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