Recent ICAC Cases

22
Oct 2021
Property agent charged by ICAC admits accepting $118,000 bribes from subordinate

A property agent, charged by the ICAC, today (October 22) admitted at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts that he had accepted bribes totalling $118,000 from a subordinate for assisting the latter in procuring two property transactions which amounted to over $52.3 million.

Chung Ka-keung, 54, senior sales manager of Midland Realty (Commercial) Limited (Midland Realty), pleaded guilty to two counts of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO). The prosecution offered no evidence to another similar charge against him.

Deputy Magistrate Mr Wong Tsz-ho adjourned the case to November 19 this year for sentence, pending a background report. Chung was granted cash bail. He was also ordered by the deputy magistrate to pay $118,000, which was equivalent to the bribes involved, as a restitution to Midland Realty.

The court heard that at the material time, Chung headed a branch of Midland Realty in Tsim Sha Tsui. His subordinates included a senior account manager, Ken Koo Chun-fai.

For each property transaction procured by a property agent, Midland Realty generally would charge both the vendor and the purchaser one per cent of the transaction price as agency commission, and the amount would be taken into account in calculating the monthly sales commissions of the property agent. As the head of a branch, Chung would also earn an overriding commission for property transactions procured by his subordinates.

The court heard that in December 2016, Chung instructed his subordinates to source commercial properties for a client of himself.

In late February 2017, upon the recommendation of Chung and Koo, the client purchased two commercial properties in Shau Kei Wan at respectively $25 million and over $27.3 million, totalling over $52.3 million.

Midland Realty subsequently paid sales commissions totalling over $280,000 and overriding commissions totalling about $150,000 respectively to Koo and Chung in connection with the two property transactions.

Upon Chung’s request, Koo eventually agreed to pay Chung half of his own sales commissions arising from the two transactions, after deducting 17.5 per cent of the amount for tax, as a reward for Chung’s assistance in procuring those transactions.

ICAC enquires revealed that Chung eventually accepted two bribes totalling $118,000 from Koo.

Koo, 48, who was charged by the ICAC in a separate case, pleaded guilty in May this year to three counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the POBO. He was granted bail until December 21 this year for sentence.

Midland Realty had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the aforesaid two cases.

The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Derek Cheung.

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