Recent ICAC Cases

25
Feb 2021
Bank officer and mother charged with fraud over payroll account opening

The ICAC yesterday (February 24) charged a bank officer and his mother who worked at a Chinese restaurant with conspiracy to defraud the bank of an incentive by causing co-workers of the mother to open payroll accounts with the bank.

Lam Ki-fung, 30, business development officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (Standard Chartered Bank); and Cheung Pui-kwan, 56, shop manageress of Majesty Seafood Restaurant (Majesty Seafood) and mother of Lam, jointly face one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.

The defendants will appear at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (February 26) for plea.

The case arose from an investigation into a corruption complaint which subsequently revealed the above alleged offence.

At the material time, Lam was a business development officer of Standard Chartered Bank posted to a branch in Central. He was responsible for opening accounts for customers. When a customer used a newly opened account for payroll service, the payroll amount concerned would be counted as the defendant’s performance in calculating his quarterly incentive.

Lam’s mother, Cheung, was a shop manageress of the Central branch of Majesty Seafood, a Chinese restaurant. She was responsible for making payroll arrangement for frontline workers. The restaurant did not require its staff members to hold an account with a specified bank for receiving payroll.

The charge alleges that between April 11 and December 18, 2017, Lam and Cheung conspired together to defraud Standard Chartered Bank by dishonestly causing individuals to open accounts with the bank and making unauthorised money transfers in and out of the accounts, thereby boosting Lam’s sales revenue for the purpose of calculating his quarterly incentive.

ICAC inquiries revealed that four co-workers of Cheung and a customer of Majesty Seafood were allegedly caused to open accounts with Standard Chartered Bank. Without the authorisation of the five account holders, sums of money were transferred into their accounts from Cheung’s personal account and then transferred out. Lam was hence paid an extra quarterly incentive totalling $4,520.

Standard Chartered Bank and Majesty Seafood have 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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