Recent ICAC Cases

09
Sep 2022
Ex-accounting clerk charged by ICAC guilty of conspiring with SME director over $102m bank loans fraud

The ICAC earlier charged a director and a former accounting clerk of a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) with conspiring together or with others to defraud four banks of 83 loans totalling over $102 million and banking facilities totalling $31 million. Following the guilty plea of the director, the former accounting clerk was today (September 9) found guilty at the District Court after trial.

Wong Tsz-wa, 30, former accounting clerk of now defunct Waty International Company Limited (WICL) was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.

Co-defendant Chan Wing-fuk, 62, sole director and shareholder of WICL, earlier pleaded guilty to 20 counts of conspiracy to defraud, including the above two charges involving Wong.

After convicting Wong today, Deputy Judge Ms Katherine Lo Kit-yee adjourned the case to September 30 for mitigation and sentence of Chan and Wong. The duo were remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.

The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above offences took place between August 2010 and January 2015.

Between 2008 and 2011, the Trade and Industry Department (TID) and the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited (HKMC) respectively launched various schemes, namely SME Loan Guarantee Scheme (SGS), Special Loan Guarantee Scheme (SpGS) and SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGS), to assist SMEs to obtain credit facilities from banks by providing guarantees to them.

The court heard that in mid-2010, Chan became the sole director and shareholder of WICL upon the invitation of its de facto owner and received a monthly salary of $20,000.

WICL did not have any actual business and was set up solely for the purpose of applying for loans with various banks. Chan was only required to sign on documents for making loan applications while the company’s accounting and administrative matters were handled by Wong and a female associate of the de facto owner of WICL.

Acting on the instructions of WICL’s de facto owner, Chan made various applications for credit facilities and loans with four banks, namely Citibank (Hong Kong) Limited, Dah Sing Bank Limited, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.

The court heard that Chan had conspired with the WICL’s de facto owner and his female associate to submit false supporting documents to defraud the above four banks. Meanwhile, Wong had conspired with Chan and the aforesaid persons to defraud two of the banks. The false supporting documents concerned included bank statements, auditor’s reports, as well as invoices, delivery notes and packing lists purportedly in relation to transactions between WICL and its seven suppliers.

As a result, the four banks were caused to grant banking facilities totalling $31 million and 83 loans totalling over $102 million to WICL, and to release the sums of over $102 million directly to the seven suppliers concerned. ICAC enquiries revealed that the sums released to the seven suppliers were subsequently distributed to various bank accounts held by Wong, WICL, WICL’s de facto owner and his female associate.

Wong was today found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud in relation to two of the above banks granting 41 loans totalling over $57 million to WICL.

Chan earlier admitted that he had also conspired with others, including the WICL’s de facto owner and his female associate, to defraud the TID and the HKMC by falsely representing that all the information contained in five application forms for the SGS and the SpGS and two application forms for the SFGS was true, accurate and complete.

The TID, the HKMC and the four banks concerned had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Paggie Lee, assisted by ICAC officer Gary Li.

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