Recent ICAC Cases

Mar 2024
Jail terms of 12 to 35 months for three insurance agents charged by ICAC over $2.7m fraud and money laundering

Three former insurance agents, charged by the ICAC, were today (March 25) sentenced at the District Court to jail terms from 12 months to 35 months for conspiracy to defraud an insurer of commissions and bonuses totalling about $1.2 million by making false representations four insurance policies were handled by another insurance agent, and conspiracy to launder over $2.7 million in crime proceeds.

Li Chung-hing, former assistant branch manager of AXA China Region Insurance Company Limited (AXA); and Kong Ho-chi, former insurance agent of AXA, both 36, were sentenced by Deputy Judge Mr Edward Wong Ching-yu to jail terms of 35 months and 32 months respectively.

The duo were earlier found guilty of five charges after trial – four of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to the Common Law, and one of conspiracy to dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence, contrary to Section 25(1) of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.

Co-defendant Tang Maurice Moses, 38, former insurance agent of AXA, who had pleaded guilty to two of the conspiracy to defraud charges, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.

At the material time between September 2015 and September 2017, Li was an assistant branch manager of AXA and also the up-line manager of Tang, Kong and another insurance agent referred by Kong to work at AXA.

AXA insurance agents were required to personally meet their clients to explain the terms and conditions of insurance policies. Upon approval of an insurance policy application and receipt of the relevant premium, AXA would release commission to the handling insurance agent, and overriding commission to the relevant up-line manager and job referrer.

In addition, various kinds of bonuses would be released to insurance agents should they meet specified sales targets or when the insurance agents referred by them to work at AXA successfully sell any insurance products.

The court heard that Li either conspired with Tang and Kong to defraud AXA by falsely representing that the insurance agent referred by Kong had handled four insurance policy applications.

Believing that the information contained in the insurance policy applications was genuine, AXA underwrote and issued those insurance policies, and paid commissions, bonuses, etc. totalling about $1.2 million in connection with the four insurance policies to Li, Kong and the insurance agent referred by Kong.

The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint alleging submission of false insurance policy applications by insurance agents. Enquiries revealed that the three defendants paid the premiums for the insurance policies in the present case. The insurance agent referred by Kong was never involved in the sale of those insurance policies which lapsed as premiums were subsequently not paid.

ICAC enquiries also revealed that the insurance agent referred by Kong received commissions and bonuses totalling over $2.7 million from AXA at the material time even though he was not involved in the sale of any insurance policies. The sum was then transferred from his bank account to the personal bank accounts of Lee and Kong.

AXA had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Boey Chung, assisted by ICAC officer Allan Fong.

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