Recent ICAC Cases

23
Jan 2020
Ex-marble salesperson jailed for defrauding customers of $1.6m

A former salesperson of a marble supplier, charged by the ICAC, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment at the District Court today (January 23) after admitting that he had conspired with other persons to defraud two customers of about $1.6 million by inflating the prices of marbles in their purchase orders.

 

Tam Hung-piu, 50, former salesperson of Free True Marble Limited (FTM), pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law, while the prosecution offered no evidence to a similar charge against him.

 

In sentencing, Deputy Judge Ms June Cheung Tin-ngan said she took a starting point of 12 months’ imprisonment having considered a number of mitigating factors. The defendant’s jail term was reduced to eight months in view of his guilty plea.

 

The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above offences.

 

The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a salesperson of FTM, which supplied marbles to retailers and works contractors in mainland China and Hong Kong. He was responsible for handling orders placed by customers.

 

Upon the requests of some staff members of two customers of FTM, the defendant inflated the unit prices of marbles in a number of quotations and gave the price differences to those staff members as “referral fees”.

 

The practice was agreed by the defendant’s supervisor.

 

The court heard that between October 2010 and December 2014, the two customers purchased marbles totalling over $31.6 million from FTM at inflated prices.

During the period, the defendant submitted six cheque requisition forms to the supervisor to apply for “referral fees” totalling about $1.6 million. All applications were approved by FTM and related cheques were subsequently encashed and paid to the staff members of the two customers.

 

The court also heard that the defendant was in fact given a share of 10 to 15 per cent of the price differences.

 

Had the two customers known that the purchase prices were inflated and the price differences were pocketed by their staff members and the defendant, they would not have agreed to place those purchase orders with FTM and make related payments.

 

The two customers of FTM had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

 

The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Clara Ma, assisted by ICAC officer Aggie Lo.

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