Recent ICAC Cases

Jan 2023
Ex-property agent charged by ICAC admits $4.9m mortgage loan fraud

A former property agent, charged by the ICAC, admitted at the District Court today (January 30) that he had deceived a bank, the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited (HKMC) and its subsidiary into maintaining to grant a mortgage loan of about $4.9 million to him by making false representations that a residential property was for self-use. The offences were revealed in the course of a corruption investigation by the ICAC.

Chiu Ka-wai, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance. Another similar charge against him was left on file at the District Court.

Pursuant to the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, the prosecution today applied to the court for confiscating the illicit gains received by the defendant. Judge Mrs Adriana Noelle Tse Ching adjourned the case to April 11 for the court to deal with the application for a confiscation order, and remanded the defendant in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.

The court heard that banks in Hong Kong were required to comply with the guideline of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on loan-to-value ratio requirement when granting a property mortgage loan. Under the Mortgage Insurance Programme (MIP) launched by the HKMC in 1999, participating banks could provide a maximum 80 per cent loan-to-value ratio to a self-occupancy residential property valued at $6 million and below.

Since May 2018, the MIP was carried out by the HKMC Insurance Limited (HKMCI), a subsidiary of the HKMC. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) is a participating bank of the programme.

In January 2016, the defendant signed a provisional agreement for purchasing a residential property at $6 million and applied for a mortgage loan under the MIP with HSBC. He declared in the relevant documents that the property was for self-occupancy. The application was approved by the HKMC and the defendant was offered a mortgage loan of about $4.9 million from HSBC. The loan was released to him in March 2016.

In May 2017 and January 2020, HSBC sent letters requesting the defendant to confirm his self-occupancy of the property. The defendant made confirmations and further submitted his bank statements and a water bill of the property as supporting documents upon the request of HSBC. The bank, the HKMC and the HKMCI were satisfied that the defendant had complied with the self-occupancy requirement and maintained the mortgage loan granted to him.

The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that the defendant leased out the property to two tenants during the above period. He had requested one of the tenants to transfer the account of the property held with the Water Supplies Department to him so as to facilitate his submission of water bill as supporting document. Had HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI known that the information provided by the defendant was false, they would not have maintained the mortgage loan granted to him.

HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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

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