Recent ICAC Cases


30
Sep 2022
Estate agent charged by ICAC jailed for soliciting ‘tea money’ from flat owner to negotiate higher selling priceAn estate agent, charged by the ICAC, was today (September 30) sentenced to three and a half months in jail after admitting at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts that he had solicited a “tea money” of $9,000 from a flat owner for negotiating a higher selling price of the latter’s residential property at $4.568 million.Yeung Tak-ming, 64, property agent of Centaline Property Agency Limited (Centaline Property), pleaded guilty to one count of agent soliciting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO).In sentencing, Deputy Magistrate Mr Benny Lo Wing-ho said the offence committed by the defendant was serious in nature, warranting a deterrent sentence. He took a starting point of six months’ imprisonment, and reduced the defendant’s jail term to three and a half months having considered his guilty plea and other mitigating factors.The court heard that around April to May 2020, a flat owner engaged Centaline Property to sell his residential property in Tuen Mun. In early August, the defendant arranged a potential buyer to view the property but the offer did not meet the flat owner’s target. The flat owner later told the defendant that $4.55 million was the lowest agreeable selling price.The property was eventually sold to the buyer at $4.568 million, which was $18,000 higher than the price asked by the flat owner. The defendant admitted that he subsequently solicited a “tea money” of $9,000 from the flat owner as a reward for negotiating a higher property selling price.Centaline Property did not allow its estate agents to solicit any advantage from its clients. The flat owner subsequently learned from Centaline Property that he was not required to pay any “tea money” to the defendant, and thus no payment was made.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Centaline Property had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Marcus Lee, assisted by ICAC officer Dirk Cheung.The ICAC reminds estate agents that soliciting or accepting advantages in the course of procuring transactions without permission constitutes breaches of the POBO. Property owners and buyers should report to the ICAC immediately if corruption is suspected.
29
Sep 2022
Mortgage loan applicant revealed in ICAC graft probe admits $1.7m fraudA mortgage loan applicant, charged by the ICAC, today (September 29) admitted at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts that she had deceived a financial services company into granting her a mortgage loan of $1.7 million by making false representations about her occupation and salary. The illegal activities were revealed in the course of a corruption investigation.Cheung Leung, 50, unemployed, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance.Principal Magistrate Mr Peter Law Tak-chuen adjourned the case to March 20 next year for mention. The defendant was granted bail.The court heard that in late October 2018, the defendant applied for a mortgage loan of $1.7 million with OCBC Wing Hang Credit Limited (Wing Hang Credit) through a financial intermediary. She stated in the application form, which was supported by an employment proof and bank account statements, that she was employed by a company as trading manager for eight years with a monthly salary of $150,000.The loan mortgage application of the defendant was subsequently approved by Wing Hang Credit and a drawdown of $1.7 million was made in late 2018.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Investigation revealed that the defendant was unemployed at the material time. The relevant employment proof was false and the defendant had never been employed by her purportedly employer.ICAC investigation also revealed that the defendant had made cash deposits in the amount of $95,000 and $150,000 into her bank account purporting to be the monthly salary she received.Had Wing Hang Credit known the mortgage loan application of the defendant and supporting documents contained fraudulent information, it would not have approved her application.Wing Hang Credit had rendered full assistance to the Commission during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Andrew Ho.
28
Sep 2022
Ex-manager of telecom company and mother charged by ICAC with fraud and laundering HK$16m crime proceedsA former manager of a telecommunications company and his mother were charged by the ICAC today (September 28) with fraud by concealing the duo’s interests in a supplier and laundering crime proceeds totalling over HK$16 million, being payments for goods and services provided by the supplier to the telecommunications company.Cheung Cheuk-man, 44, former manager of PCCW Services Limited (PCCW Services), a subsidiary of PCCW Limited (PCCW), faces one count of fraud, contrary to section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance; while Lee Po-mei, 65, Cheung’s mother and sole director cum shareholder of Go Go Wifi Limited (GGWL), faces one count of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence, contrary to Section 25(1) of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance.The duo will be brought to the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (September 29) for mention.In November 2014, Cheung was employed by PCCW Services to work as manager of the network service team of PCCW Solutions Limited (PCCW Solutions), another subsidiary of PCCW, which provided a wide range of information technology and network solutions to its clients. PCCW’s policy stipulated that employees of PCCW and its subsidiaries must make declarations where potential conflicts of interest arose.Upon the recommendation of Cheung, GGWL was included in the list of approved suppliers of PCCW and its subsidiaries in January 2016. Afterwards, Cheung procured PCCW Solutions to issue 29 purchase orders in the sum of over HK$30 million to GGWL. GGWL subsequently received payments of about HK$8.7 million and about US$990,000 to GGWL.The alleged offences took place between August 2014 and September 2017.One of the charges alleges that Cheung, with intent to defraud, induced PCCW Services to include and maintain GGWL in the list of approved suppliers for the provision of goods and services, and place purchase orders with GGWL, by concealing from or failing to disclose to PCCW Services his and/or his family member’s interests in GGWL.Another charge alleges that Lee dealt with the above payments of about HK$8.7 million and about US$990,000, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe they in whole or in part, directly or indirectly represented the proceeds of an indictable offence.ICAC investigation revealed that Lee became the sole director cum shareholder of GGWL in August 2014.PCCW and its subsidiaries have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
27
Sep 2022
Ex-HKUST supplier duo charged by ICAC over $4m procurement fraudTwo operators of two former suppliers of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) were charged by the ICAC yesterday (September 26) for allegedly conspiring with a then Adjunct Associate Professor of the university to conceal the latter’s interest in the two suppliers concerning various procurements that involved payments totalling about $4 million over a span of more than seven years.Au Yeung Siu-fung, 42, sole director and shareholder of Chun Fo (Asia) Pharmaceutical Co., Limited (CFPL); and Yeung Siu-on, 40, sole director and shareholder of PIT Limited (PITL), face a total of 17 charges – three of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law; and 14 of fraud, contrary to section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance.The duo were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance before the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (September 28) for the case to be transferred to the District Court.At the material time, CFPL was a medical product supplier. When it was incorporated in mid-2012, Yeung was its sole director and shareholder while Au Yeung took over the position in late 2012. PITL was a supplier providing environmental testing services and Yeung became its sole director and shareholder in late 2011.The alleged offences took place between September 2011 and February 2019. During the period, an Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry of HKUST conducted 17 tendering and procurement exercises for the university and its subsidiary to purchase various laboratory equipment and testing services from CFPL and PITL in which he had direct or indirect financial interests.In accordance with the regulations of HKUST, the Adjunct Associate Professor was required to declare his conflict of interest with any suppliers before engaging them. Meanwhile, suppliers were required to declare whether any HKUST staff have any interest in them.The conspiracy charges allege that Au Yeung and Yeung had separately conspired with the Adjunct Associate Professor to defraud HKUST by concealing the latter’s interest in CFPL and PITL while he had a duty to disclose any conflict of interest to the university, but instead, he induced it to engage CFPL and PITL in three of the 17 tendering and procurement exercises, and caused it to settle invoices of the two suppliers in full.The remaining charges allege that either Au Yeung or Yeung, together with the Adjunct Associate Professor, induced HKUST or its subsidiary to engage CFPL or PITL in the other 14 tendering and procurement exercises by concealing the latter’s interest in the two suppliers.The 17 tendering and procurement exercises involved payments totalling about $4 million.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon the legal advice sought from the Department of Justice, charges were preferred against Au Yeung and Yeung. The relevant investigation is continuing.HKUST has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
26
Sep 2022
Ex-construction worker sentenced to four months’ jail for bribery and fraud after review of sentenceA former construction worker charged by the ICAC, who was earlier ordered to perform 240 hours of community service for bribery over the employment of a fellow worker and making false representations to another worker over his Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) contribution so as to defraud him of part of his wages, was today (September 26) sentenced to four months’ imprisonment after a Magistrate reviewed his sentence.Chan Ki-lok, 27, former construction worker of Asian Projects Company Limited (Asian Projects), was earlier convicted of four charges – one of agent accepting an advantage and two of agent soliciting an advantage, all contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, and one of fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance.On January 25, 2022, he was ordered by Magistrate Mr Jeffrey Sze Cho-yiu at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts to perform 240 hours of community service. The Department of Justice subsequently made an application for a review of the defendant’s sentence. After reviewing his sentence, the Magistrate today sentenced him to four months’ imprisonment.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a construction worker of Asian Projects, which was the construction contractor of a construction project in Lung Kwu Tan, Tuen Mun. Two workers were employed by Asian Projects and started to work for the construction project at a daily wage of $950 in September and October 2019 respectively.In October 2019, the defendant requested one of the workers to pay him $50 per working day as a rebate for referring him to work for Asian Projects. About a week later, the defendant accepted $1,000 cash from the worker, being rebates for the 20 days the latter worked at the aforesaid construction site.In December 2019, the defendant further solicited a rebate of $650 twice from the above worker. No payment was further made to the defendant.ICAC inquiries also revealed that on two other occasions in September and October 2019, the defendant told another worker that the latter was required to pay $50 per day as MPF contribution.Between October and December 2019, the construction worker transferred a total of $5,800 to the bank account of the defendant in the belief that he was contributing to his MPF.Asian Projects had not requested the defendant to recruit or refer fellow workers for the company. The company had not authorised or allowed the defendant to collect any MPF contribution from the worker concerned.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised prosecuting the defendant. Asian Projects had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Kelvin Tang, assisted by ICAC officer Chu Ka-ho.An ICAC spokesperson reminds construction workers that bribery is a serious offence. Workers are reminded not to pay illegal rebate should they encounter any solicitation and to report the matter to the ICAC immediately.

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