Recent ICAC Cases


01
Feb 2023
Insurance agent charged as ICAC probe reveals $1.9m commissions fraud over bogus policiesAn insurance agent was charged by the ICAC yesterday (January 31) following its corruption investigation which revealed that the defendant had allegedly defrauded an insurer of commissions and bonuses totalling about $1.9 million by making false representations that seven clients had taken out various insurance policies.Yuki Fan Ting-yan, 47, then financial consultant of AXA China Region Insurance Company Limited (AXA), faces 14 counts of fraud, contrary to section 16A of the Theft Ordinance. She was released on ICAC bail, pending her appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (February 2). The prosecution will make an application for transferring the case to the District Court.At the material time, the defendant was a financial consultant of AXA. She would receive a first year commission when an insurance product was sold, and a renewal year commission upon renewal of an insurance policy. She would also receive various bonuses after meeting her sales target.Between November 2014 and September 2016, AXA received 14 insurance policy applications purportedly taken out by seven clients. It is alleged that the defendant had falsely represented to AXA that the applications were genuinely taken out by those clients, and with intent to defraud, induced the insurer to approve the applications and release the respective commissions and bonuses to her.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Investigation revealed that the seven clients did not make the above applications and had never paid any premium for the policies. Had AXA known that the 14 applications contained false information, it would not have approved them and released to the defendant commissions and bonuses totalling about $1.9 million.AXA has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
30
Jan 2023
Ex-property agent charged by ICAC admits $4.9m mortgage loan fraudA former property agent, charged by the ICAC, admitted at the District Court today (January 30) that he had deceived a bank, the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited (HKMC) and its subsidiary into maintaining to grant a mortgage loan of about $4.9 million to him by making false representations that a residential property was for self-use. The offences were revealed in the course of a corruption investigation by the ICAC.Chiu Ka-wai, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance. Another similar charge against him was left on file at the District Court.Pursuant to the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, the prosecution today applied to the court for confiscating the illicit gains received by the defendant. Judge Mrs Adriana Noelle Tse Ching adjourned the case to April 11 for the court to deal with the application for a confiscation order, and remanded the defendant in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.The court heard that banks in Hong Kong were required to comply with the guideline of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on loan-to-value ratio requirement when granting a property mortgage loan. Under the Mortgage Insurance Programme (MIP) launched by the HKMC in 1999, participating banks could provide a maximum 80 per cent loan-to-value ratio to a self-occupancy residential property valued at $6 million and below.Since May 2018, the MIP was carried out by the HKMC Insurance Limited (HKMCI), a subsidiary of the HKMC. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) is a participating bank of the programme.In January 2016, the defendant signed a provisional agreement for purchasing a residential property at $6 million and applied for a mortgage loan under the MIP with HSBC. He declared in the relevant documents that the property was for self-occupancy. The application was approved by the HKMC and the defendant was offered a mortgage loan of about $4.9 million from HSBC. The loan was released to him in March 2016.In May 2017 and January 2020, HSBC sent letters requesting the defendant to confirm his self-occupancy of the property. The defendant made confirmations and further submitted his bank statements and a water bill of the property as supporting documents upon the request of HSBC. The bank, the HKMC and the HKMCI were satisfied that the defendant had complied with the self-occupancy requirement and maintained the mortgage loan granted to him.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that the defendant leased out the property to two tenants during the above period. He had requested one of the tenants to transfer the account of the property held with the Water Supplies Department to him so as to facilitate his submission of water bill as supporting document. Had HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI known that the information provided by the defendant was false, they would not have maintained the mortgage loan granted to him.HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Steven Liu, assisted by ICAC officer Gary Li.
19
Jan 2023
Ex-employees of telecom company charged by ICAC jailed for bribery over customer data leakTwo of the three former employees of a telecommunications company charged by the ICAC were respectively sentenced to six months’ and six weeks’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts today (January 19) for soliciting and accepting bribes to disclose personal information and data of about 4,700 customers illegally obtained from the company’s computer systems.Lau Shing-yan, 36, former team leader of PayTV Department of PCCW Services Limited (PCCW), was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, while Kan Siu-kei, 38, former sales supervisor of Direct Sales Department of PCCW, was jailed for six weeks.In sentencing, Acting Principal Magistrate Miss Veronica Heung Shuk-han said that Lau was the mastermind of the scam and that he obtained personal information and data of numerous customers through the two co-defendants. The offences involved were serious in nature, warranting a custodial sentence. She took a starting point of nine months’ imprisonment and reduced Lau’s jail term to six months after taking into account his guilty plea.Having considered Kan’s guilty plea and other mitigating factors, Kan was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment, the Acting Principal Magistrate added.Lau and Kan earlier pleaded guilty to a total of four bribery charges – one of agent soliciting advantages and three of conspiracy for an agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Sections 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.The offences took place between June 2017 and October 2018. At the material time, PCCW maintained two computer systems for safekeeping personal information and data of customers (Customers’ Particulars), including their names, Hong Kong Identity Card numbers, phone numbers and addresses. Only designated PCCW staff were authorised to have access to the computer databases. Lau and Kan were assigned computers with the two computer systems installed.The court heard that Lau had solicited unknown sums of loans from a person, and accepted two bribes amounting to $13,000 from another person for him to peruse and search the computer systems of PCCW for Customers’ Particulars and disclose to the two persons the Customers’ Particulars of nearly 3,800 customers obtained from the computer systems.After Lau was terminated by PCCW in July 2017 due to his unauthorised searches of Customers’ Particulars, he asked Kan and Lai Sze-ting, junior marketing executive of PayTV Department of PCCW, to conduct searches at the computer systems and to disclose the Customers’ Particulars of over 900 customers to him. Kan and Lai in return respectively accepted bribes of $2,000 and $4,000 from Lau.PCCW prohibited its staff from accepting any advantage for doing any act which would cause loss to the company, accessing the two computer systems without authorisation, and disclosing Customers’ Particulars to non-PCCW staff. The above searches conducted by the trio were not related to their duties and were unauthorised, the court heard.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Pursuant to legal advice sought from the Department of Justice upon completion of the investigation, Lau, Kan and Lai were charged with multiple counts of bribery and obtaining access to computers with dishonest intent for disclosing Customers’ Particulars of about 4,700 customers. Lai earlier pleaded guilty to his charges and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on November 17, 2022.PCCW had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented ICAC officer Alvin Pang.The ICAC reminds telecommunications industry practitioners that accepting advantages for disclosing customer data is a serious offence. The Commission will continue to assist telecommunications companies to strengthen their internal monitoring system and enhance the integrity standard of their staff for preventing corruption and malpractices: hkbedc.icac.hk/en.
18
Jan 2023
Plumbing subcontractor charged by ICAC jailed for $190,000 wage fraudOne of the two third-tier subcontractors of the construction projects of the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital and a private residential estate in Ma On Shan, charged by the ICAC, was today (January 18) sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment at the District Court after being convicted of defrauding second-tier subcontractors of wage payments by overstating daily wages of plumbers.Chu Cheuk-wah, 59, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.In sentencing, Deputy Judge Mr Caesar Lo Chi-lam said that the defendant coerced workers to pay illegal rebates to keep their employment, making them co-conspirators of crimes, and such misdeeds warranted a deterrent custodial sentence.The offences took place between February 2017 and September 2018. At the material time, Kin Win Engineering Limited (Kin Win) and Onplus Plumbing Engineering Limited (Onplus) took part in two construction projects respectively involving the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital and a private residential estate in Ma On Shan as second-tier subcontractors. Kin Win and Onplus subcontracted the plumbing work of the two projects to the two defendants who were the third-tier subcontractors.According to the subcontracting agreements, the two defendants were required to supply plumbers for the two projects and report the exact daily wages of the plumbers for wage calculation.The court heard that the two defendants employed two plumbers and their respective daily wages stated in their contracts were $1,500 and $1,150. It is however agreed between the two defendants and the plumbers that their respective daily wages were only $900 and $850. In addition, the two defendants had asked the plumbers to return the wage difference to them after receiving their monthly wages from Kin Win and Onplus.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that wages of the two plumbers were overstated by about $190,000.Co-defendant Sze Kin-chung, 50, was charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud and six counts of fraud. He was unable to attend court due to his health condition. His case was adjourned to March 2 for plea.The Hospital Authority, Kin Win and Onplus had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Douglas Lau, assisted by ICAC officer Lai Yiu-wai.
17
Jan 2023
Clerk charged by ICAC with accepting $400,000 bribes from money exchange duo over $120m remittanceThe ICAC today (January 17) charged a clerk of a handbag manufacturer with accepting bribes totalling over $400,000 from two staff members of a currency exchange company for causing the manufacturer to remit $120 million via the currency exchange company.Kung Hoi, 55, clerk of Creaton Enterprises Limited (Creaton), faces one count of conspiracy for an agent to accept an advantage, contrary to section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.The defendant was released on ICAC bail, pending his appearance in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday (January 19) for plea.At the material time, the defendant was a clerk of Creaton, a handbag manufacturer. Among his duties was remitting funds to mainland bank accounts via currency exchange companies for Creaton’s business operation. Between May 2016 and August 2018, the defendant had conducted over 430 remittances involving a total of $120 million on behalf of Creaton through a branch of Hui’s Brothers Foreign Currency Exchange Company Limited (Hui’s Brothers).It is alleged that the defendant conspired together with a branch manager and a cashier of the above Hui’s Brothers branch for the defendant to accept bribes totalling over $400,000 for causing Creaton to use the remittance services at the branch.ICAC enquiries revealed that the branch manager and cashier would arrange cash deposits, ranging from over $200 to over $20,000 each and totalling $400,0000, be made into the defendant’s bank account whenever he handle a remittance for Creaton. The matter was revealed when Hui’s Brothers checked the books.Creaton did not allow its employees to accept advantages in relation to its business or affairs.As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions. Creaton and Hui’s Brothers have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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