Recent ICAC Cases


19
Nov 2021
Merchant further charged by ICAC with conspiracy to defraud over ‘backdoor listing’ of listed company and money launderingThree persons, including a then chairman and a then substantial shareholder of a listed company, were charged by the ICAC this morning (November 19) with conspiracy to defraud The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK), the listed company and its board of directors and shareholders by concealing a “backdoor listing” agreement when placing convertible notes to increase the share capital of the listed company and dealing with crime proceeds of $42 million. A merchant was further charged in the afternoon.Chim Pui-chung, 75, then substantial shareholder of Asia Resources Holdings Limited (Asia Resources); Ricky Chim Kim-lun, 52, then chairman of Asia Resources; and Wong Poe-lai, 65, were charged by the ICAC this morning. Ma Zhonghong, 48, merchant, was further charged this afternoon.Chim Pui-chung, Ricky Chim and Ma jointly face two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law. Ma and Wong jointly face one count of dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence, contrary to Section 25(1) of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance.No plea was entered when the four defendants appeared in the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts this afternoon. Acting Principal Magistrate Mr Jason Wan Siu-ming adjourned the cases to February 28 next year for mention.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint referred by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised charges be laid against the defendants.At the material time, Asia Resources was listed on the Main Board of the SEHK. After Chim Pui-chung became a substantial shareholder of Asia Resources in October 2008, Ricky Chim was appointed as an executive director of the company. Between December 19, 2008 and December 11, 2014, Ricky Chim was the chairman of the board of directors of Asia Resources. Wong was an employee of a company of Ma at the material time.One of the charges alleges that between July 1, 2013 and November 15, 2015, Chim Pui-chung, Ricky Chim and Ma conspired together and with other persons to defraud Asia Resources, its board of directors and shareholders by dishonestly:(i) concealing or failing to disclose that Ma had reached an agreement with Chim Pui-chung and Ricky Chim that Ma would pay a total sum of about $210 million to Chim Pui-chung in order to control 70 per cent to 75 per cent of the entire issued share capital of Asia Resources (the Illicit Agreement);(ii) causing the board of directors of Asia Resources to approve, and causing Asia Resources to proceed with the placing of its new shares and the placing of convertible notes of which the convertible shares, upon exercise of the conversion rights, represented approximately 566.67 per cent of the then existing issued share capital of the company (the CN Agreement) with a view to increase the entire issued share capital of the company thereby facilitating the execution of the Illicit Agreement;(iii) falsely representing in the announcements and circulars of Asia Resources that no director or shareholder of the company had a material interest in the CN Agreement and no shareholder of the company was required to abstain from voting at the special general meeting of the company for the approval of the CN Agreement (the SGM);(iv) causing the shareholders of Asia Resources to pass the resolution in relation to the CN Agreement at the SGM.Another charge alleges that between July 1, 2013 and November 15, 2015, Chim Pui-chung, Ricky Chim and Ma conspired together and with other persons to defraud the SEHK by dishonestly:(i) concealing or failing to disclose that Chim Pui-chung, Ricky Chim and Ma had reached the Illicit Agreement;(ii) concealing or failing to disclose the purpose of the CN Agreement was to increase the entire issued share capital of Asia Resources thereby facilitating the execution of the Illicit Agreement;(iii) falsely representing in the announcements and circulars of Asia Resources that no director or shareholder of the company had a material interest in the CN Agreement and no shareholder of the company was required to abstain from voting at the SGM;(iv) causing the SEHK not to take prompt action to seek clarification with Asia Resources on the CN Agreement, and/or causing the SEHK to approve the publication by the company of the announcements and circulars in relation to the CN Agreement.The remaining charge alleges that between October 24, 2013 and January 24, 2014, Wong and Ma, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that convertible notes issued by Asia Resources in the principal amount of $42 million, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly represented the proceeds of indictable offence, dealt with the said property.The SEHK and the SFC have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Ivan Shiu, assisted by ICAC officer Jenny Chau.
19
Nov 2021
Property agent charged by ICAC jailed for accepting $118,000 bribes from subordinateA property agent, charged by the ICAC, was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts today (November 19) for accepting bribes totalling $118,000 from a subordinate for assisting the latter in procuring two property transactions which amounted to over $52.3 million.Chung Ka-keung, 54, senior sales manager of Midland Realty (Commercial) Limited (Midland Realty), earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO).In sentencing, Deputy Magistrate Mr Wong Tsz-ho said he took a starting point of nine months’ imprisonment and reduced the defendant’s jail term to four months after taking into account his guilty plea and willingness to make a repayment to Midland Realty.The court heard that at the material time, Chung headed a branch of Midland Realty in Tsim Sha Tsui. His subordinates included a senior account manager, Ken Koo Chun-fai.For each property transaction procured by a property agent, Midland Realty generally would charge both the vendor and the purchaser one per cent of the transaction price as agency commission, and the amount would be taken into account in calculating the monthly sales commissions of the property agent. As the head of a branch, Chung would also earn an overriding commission for property transactions procured by his subordinates.The court heard that in December 2016, Chung instructed his subordinates to source commercial properties for a client of himself.In late February 2017, upon the recommendation of Chung and Koo, the client purchased two commercial properties in Shau Kei Wan at respectively $25 million and over $27.3 million, totalling over $52.3 million.Midland Realty subsequently paid sales commissions totalling over $280,000 and overriding commissions totalling about $150,000 respectively to Koo and Chung in connection with the two property transactions.Upon Chung’s request, Koo eventually agreed to pay Chung half of his own sales commissions arising from the two transactions, after deducting 17.5 per cent of the amount for tax, as a reward for Chung’s assistance in procuring those transactions.ICAC enquires revealed that Chung eventually accepted two bribes totalling $118,000 from Koo.Koo, 48, who was charged by the ICAC in a separate case, pleaded guilty in May this year to three counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the POBO. He was granted bail until December 30 this year for sentence.Midland Realty had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Derek Cheung.
18
Nov 2021
Trio charged by ICAC with $3.5m fraud over floor maintenance works of shopping malls and money launderingA former manager of a cleaning company and two operators of a cleaning subcontractor were charged by the ICAC yesterday (November 17) with deceiving the cleaning company of service fees totalling about $3.5 million in relation to floor maintenance works of four shopping malls and dealing with crime proceeds in a total sum of $3 million derived from the scam.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised charges be laid against the trio.The defendants are Chan Pui-yin, 52, former operation manager of Tsang Lik Services Limited (Tsang Lik); and Lam Chi-wah, 46, and Chu Tak-wing, 47, both operators of Chun Wah Services Limited (Chun Wah).Chan and Lam jointly face two counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance. Lam and Chu jointly face one count of conspiracy to deal with property known or reasonably 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.The defendants were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Friday (November 19) for the case to be transferred to the District Court for plea.Tsang Lik is a cleaning company providing services to residential estates, offices and shopping malls managed by Kai Shing Management Services Limited (Kai Shing), a sister company of Tsang Lik.At the material time, Chan was an operation manager of Tsang Lik. He was responsible for overseeing the cleaning contracts of four shopping malls managed by Kai Shing. He would also recommend subcontractors to Tsang Lik for performing floor maintenance works.Through the introduction of Chan, Chun Wah became a cleaning subcontractor of Tsang Lik in 2011. Lam and Chu were co-operators of Chun Wah and the authorised signatories of a bank account of the company.Two of the charges allege that between January 19, 2015 and July 24, 2017, Chan and Lam falsely represented that maintenance works of “refurbishment of floor slab marble” for the aforesaid four shopping malls had been performed by Chun Wah, and with intent to defraud, induced Tsang Lik and Kai Shing to pay fees relating to those maintenance works, which resulted in benefit to Chan and Lam, and/or in prejudice to Tsang Lik and Kai Shing.It is alleged that the service fees involved amounted to over $3.5million.The remaining charge alleges that between January 19, 2015 and June 29, 2017, Lam and Chu conspired together to deal with a total sum of over $3 million in the bank account of Chun Wah, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that the sum in whole or in part, directly or indirectly represented proceeds of indictable offence.Kai Shing and Tsang Lik have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
18
Nov 2021
Ex-manager of power supplier’s sister firm charged by ICAC sentenced for conflicts of interest over $130,000 loans from contractorA former project manager of a sister company of a power supplier, charged by the ICAC, was sentenced at the Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts today (November 18) for failing to declare conflicts of interest after having accepted loans totalling $135,000 from a contractor of cable trenching works under his supervision.Chan Ka-man, 46, former project manager of CLP Engineering Limited (CLP Engineering, subsequently renamed as CLPe Solutions Limited), was sentenced by Magistrate Miss Lau Suk-han to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.The defendant was earlier found guilty of four counts of agent using a document with intent to deceive his principal, contrary to Section 9(3) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.The court heard that at the material time, CLP Engineering was a sister company of CLP Power Hong Kong Limited (CLP Power) responsible for cable trenching works awarded by CLP Power. CLP Engineering and CLP Power were subsidiaries of CLP Holdings Limited (CLP Holdings).The defendant was a project manager of CLP Engineering posted to its distribution cable section of the power engineering branch. He was tasked to supervise cable trenching works carried out by contractors in Sham Shui Po District.According to the Code of Conduct of CLP Holdings (the Code of Conduct), all employees of the company and its subsidiaries are prohibited from accepting any advantages, including loans, from any individuals or organisations having dealings with CLP Holdings and its subsidiaries. Employees should also avoid situations giving rise to conflicts of interest and should report any potential conflicts of interest to the employer.Between 2014 and 2017, the defendant attended four annual seminars of CLP Engineering which served to remind employees to comply with the Code of Conduct. On each occasion, he had signed a “Code of Conduct Compliance Statement” in which he declared that he did not have any conflicts of interest and had not violated the Code of Conduct.But ICAC enquiries revealed that between November 2014 and March 2017, the defendant had accepted five loans totalling $135,000 from a contractor carrying out cable trenching works supervised by him.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint referred by CLP Holdings, which rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Peggy Leung, assisted by ICAC officers Tim Lam and Kingsley Chow.The ICAC reminds staff of business organisations to abide by the anti-bribery laws. They should also avoid situations giving rise to conflicts of interest and report any such conflicts to the employer to avoid contravening the law.
12
Nov 2021
Woman charged by ICAC sentenced for bribing recruitment officer for security guard jobA woman, charged by the ICAC, was today (November 12) sentenced at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts for offering bribes totalling $5,000 to a recruitment officer of a property developer for assisting her in securing a security guard job.Ke Meijing, 51, earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Magistrate Daniel Tang Siu-hung today ordered the defendant to perform 240 hours of community service.The court heard that in mid-February 2021, Swire Properties Limited (Swire Properties) conducted a recruitment exercise for the post of security guard. The defendant applied for the post and attended an online interviewOn March 2, 2021, the defendant was informed by a recruitment officer of the company who assessed her performance that her application was unsuccessful. The defendant then requested via mobile phone messages the recruitment officer to assist her in the next recruitment exercise.On the following day, the defendant told the recruitment officer over the phone that she would give her some home-made buns. In the same afternoon, the defendant left a bag of buns at the reception of the recruitment officer’s office and sent a mobile phone message to the recruitment officer asking her not to pass the buns to others. The recruitment officer reported the matter to her supervisor, who subsequently arranged to dispose of the bag of buns.In a series of mobile phone messages sent to the recruitment officer on March 4, 2021, the defendant said she had given $2,000 as “tea money” to the recruitment officer on the preceding day and would further offer $3,000 if she could complete the probation after being recruited. The recruitment officer immediately reported the matter to her supervisor but the bag of buns and the $2,000 could not be recovered.The court heard that the defendant had placed a “laisee” of $2,000 in the bag of buns delivered to the office of the recruitment officer and sent the aforesaid mobile phone messages to the recruitment officer afterwards.Swire Properties had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Brian Tse.ICAC reminds job seekers not to offer bribes for employment. Staff of business organisations also must not accept any advantage for abusing their power, otherwise both the offeror and the acceptor might have committed an offence. Company staff are urged to report to the ICAC should they come across any suspicion of corruption in the organisations.

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