Recent ICAC Cases

17
Jul 2020
Trio charged with fraud over $410,000 recruitment agency fees

A former employee of a contact center service provider and two others have been charged by the ICAC today (July 17) with defrauding the service provider of recruitment agency fees totalling about $410,000 by falsely representing that 15 job applicants were referred by two recruitment agencies associated with the duo.

The defendants are Ho Wan-chung, 31, former resourcing officer of HKT Services Limited (HKT Services); Li Ching-man, 30, former recruitment manager of Headsearch21 Consultancy Limited (Headsearch21); and Li Kang-ling, 26, sister of Li Ching-man and proprietor of Isearch Company (Isearch).

Ho and Li Ching-man jointly face seven counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance. Meanwhile, Ho and Li Kang-ling jointly face eight other charges – four of fraud, and four of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.

The defendants will appear in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts next Tuesday (July 21) for plea.

The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above alleged offences, which took place between January and July 2018.

At the material time, Ho was a resourcing officer of HKT Services which provided outsourcing contact center services to its clients. Ho was responsible for recruiting service executives to handle phone enquiries at a contact center for a client.

HKT Services would pay recruitment agency fees for successful job applicants referred by recruitment agencies, including Headsearch21 and Isearch. 

Seven charges against Ho and Li Ching-man allege that they falsely represented to HKT Services that Headsearch21 was the recruitment agency which referred seven job applicants to HKT Services, and with intent to defraud, induced HKT Services to pay recruitment agency fees totalling about $190,000 to Headsearch21, which resulted in benefit to Ho and Li Ching-man or prejudice to HKT Services.

Four charges against Ho and Li Kang-ling allege that they falsely represented to HKT Services that Isearch was the recruitment agency which referred four other job applicants to HKT Services, and with intent to defraud, induced HKT Services to pay recruitment agency fees totalling over $110,000 to Isearch, which resulted in benefit to Ho and Isearch or prejudice to HKT Services.

Four other charges allege that Ho and Li Kang-ling conspired together to defraud HKT Services by falsely representing that Isearch was the recruitment agency which referred four other job applicants to HKT Services, and inducing HKT Services to pay over $110,000 in total to Isearch as recruitment agency fees.

HKT Services has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during the investigation.

The defendants have been released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance next Tuesday.

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