Recent ICAC Cases

May 2023
Subcontractor of private residential project charged as ICAC probe reveals $9.6m wage fraud

The ICAC charged five people last Friday (May 19) after it was revealed in the course of a corruption investigation that the company secretary and the director of a subcontractor of a construction project allegedly conspired with others to defraud a contractor of about $9.6 million by falsifying wages information of workers.

The five defendants, aged between 35 and 61, are Hon Sang, company secretary of Honsang Company Limited (Honsang); his wife Ada Law Yin-nei and younger brother Hon Kai-keung, respectively the sole director-cum-shareholder and worker of Honsang; and two other workers of Honsang, Leung Wing-chak and So Yiu-keung.

They face two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law. All defendants were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (May 23) for mention. The prosecution will apply for transferring the case to the District Court for plea.

At the material time, Honsang was a subcontractor of aluminium and glass related works of a private residential construction project on Borrett Road in Mid-Levels. Honsang was required to submit to CR Construction Company Limited (CR Construction), a contractor of the project, documents in relation to wage payments, including copies of cheques issued to workers and the relevant receipts, to reimburse expenses on an accountable basis.

It is alleged that between September 2018 and April 2019, the Hon couple, Hon Kai-keung and Leung conspired together to defraud CR Construction by falsely representing to CR Construction that designated sums would be used for the purpose of paying wages to workers, causing CR Construction to issue cheques to Honsang to settle the payment.

The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. It was revealed that during the abovementioned period, CR Construction received from Honsang photocopies of over 1,200 cheques totalling about $30 million purporting that wages were paid to workers. Enquiries also found that over 500 cheques were not encashed. Moreover, 43 cheques in which the names of the payees and the amount being falsified were deposited into bank accounts of the Hon couple, Hon Kai-keung and Leung, involving totalling about $9.3 million.

It is also alleged that between May and August 2019, the Hon couple, Leung and So conspired together with another worker of Honsang to defraud CR Construction, causing it to overpay those workers about $300,000.

ICAC investigation revealed that during the aforesaid period, CR Construction changed to pay Honsang’s workers directly. The Hon couple and others allegedly overstated workers’ wages and instructed workers to return the wages overpaid by CR Construction to Honsang.

CR Construction has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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