Recent ICAC Cases

27
Jan 2021
Trio charged with conspiracy to defraud over $2m advertising projects

The ICAC yesterday (January 26) charged three persons, including a former manager of an international personal care products distributor and her husband, with conspiracy to defraud in awarding advertising projects worth over $2 million to a company associated with the trio without disclosing the couple’s beneficial interest in it.

The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent enquiries revealed the alleged offence.

Kwok Ching-shuen, 34, former brand manager of Procter and Gamble Hong Kong Limited (P&G HK); Yeung Yuk-kam, 44, sole-director-cum-shareholder of Commestudio Limited (Commestudio); and Yeong Kam-piu, 46, husband of Kwok and sole director-cum-shareholder of Asone Creation Limited (Asone Creation), jointly face one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.

The defendants will appear at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (January 28) for the case to be transferred to the District Court for plea.

At the material time, Kwok was employed by P&G HK as the brand manager of a skincare brand. She was responsible for all marketing campaigns of the brand, and was authorised to approve service contracts under $780,000.

Yeung was the sole director-cum-shareholder of Commestudio, an advertising company which had provided advertising production services to another brand under P&G HK. Kwok’s husband, Yeong, was the sole director-cum-shareholder of Asone Creation, an offshore company with no business registration in Hong Kong.

The charge alleges that between January 26 and August 30, 2017, Kwok, Yeung and Yeong conspired together to defraud P&G HK by dishonestly concealing from or failing to disclose to P&G HK that Kwok and/or Yeong had a beneficial or financial interest in Asone Creation and thereby inducing P&G HK to award 22 advertising projects to Asone Creation.

ICAC enquiries revealed that Yeung represented Asone Creation to attend meetings with P&G HK and that the advertising projects awarded to Asone Creation, with a total contract sum of over $2 million, were actually carried out by Commestudio.

P&G HK requires an employee to disclose all potential conflicts of interest, including the situation when a member of an employee’s household is a supplier of the company.

P&G HK has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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

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