Recent ICAC Cases

11
Nov 2020
Ex-employee of labour hire agency charged with fraud and theft over $3.1m wage payments

A 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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