Recent ICAC Cases

Jan 2024
Property officer charged by ICAC guilty of conspiring with renovation contractor to deceive IO

The ICAC had earlier charged a then property officer of a property management company and a renovation contractor as a corruption investigation revealed that they had conspired together to deceive the Incorporated Owners (IO) of a private residential building in To Kwa Wan into awarding a water pipe replacement project to the contractor by using false quotations. The property officer was today (January 10) convicted of conspiracy to defraud at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts while the renovation contractor, who pleaded guilty earlier, was jailed for two months and two weeks.

Lau Cheuk-yan, 42, former property officer of Harbourfield Property Management Limited (Harbourfield), was today convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to the Common Law. She was granted bail until January 24 for sentence, pending her background report.

Co-defendant Chan Kam-wah, 57, director-cum-shareholder of Hing Fat Building Maintenance Company Limited (Hing Fat), earlier pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to defraud charge; and three counts of possessing a false instrument, contrary to section 75(2) of the Crimes Ordinance.

Magistrate Mr Philip Chan Chee-fai remarked that the court had to mete out a custodial sentence given the serious nature of the case involving false instruments.

At the material time, Harbourfield provided property management service to Sunny Court, a private residential building in To Kwa Wan. Staff of Harbourfield were required to source at least three quotations from its approved contractors before conducting any renovation works worth between $10,000 and $200,000.

In 2021, Harbourfield conducted a quotation exercise for the Sunny Court to select a renovation contractor for a water pipe replacement project. The IO of Sunny Court received three quotations via Lau. In May 2021, the project was awarded to Hing Fat, which offered the lowest bid of $70,000.

The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that the two engineering companies concerned were not approved contractors of Harbourfield and they had never submitted the two quotations. But Lau and Chan conspired together to defraud the IO of Sunny Court by falsely representing that the two quotations were genuine. It was also revealed that Chan possessed three other false quotations purportedly issued by one of the two engineering companies to another residential building, a commercial building and a shopping mall.

Harbourfield and the IO of Sunny Court 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 Potina Koo.

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