Recent ICAC Cases


12
Jun 2023
Ex-HR head of IT firm charged by ICAC admits soliciting bribes from job seekersA former head of the human resources department of an information technology company, charged by ICAC, today (June 12) admitted at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts that he had solicited bribes from three job applicants for assisting them to obtain a higher monthly salary.Chan Chun-po, 35, former manager of Aigens Technology Limited (Aigens), pleaded guilty to three counts of agent soliciting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. The prosecution offered no evidence to two similar charges against him.Magistrate Mr Jacky Ip Kai-leung adjourned the case to June 30 for sentence, pending the defendant’s community service order report. The defendant was granted bail.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was the head of the human resources department of Aigens, which was an information technology company. Between August and November 2020, the defendant interviewed three job applicants for two posts of engineer and customer service.The defendant told the three job applicants that he could assist them to obtain higher monthly salaries from Aigens, and solicited a bribe of $500, $3,000 or an unspecified sum from the trio respectively. The solicitations were rejected.Aigens did not allow its employees to solicit or accept advantages from job applicants for assisting them to obtain a higher monthly salary from the company.Aigens 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 Ken Mak.
09
Jun 2023
Duo charged by ICAC jailed for assisting team leader to collect bribes from Third Runway Project workersTwo former scaffolders of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project), charged by the ICAC, were today (June 9) sentenced to three months and four months in jail respectively at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for conspiring with a site team leader to collect bribes totalling about $60,000 from three fellow workers for continuing their employment with the sub-contractor.Zhou Sheng, 58, and Huang Dehou, 42, both former scaffolding construction workers of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), were jailed for three months and four months respectively.Zhou earlier pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for agents to accept advantages, while Huang was earlier found guilty of two counts of conspiracy for agents to accept advantages after trial, all contrary to section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Lee Chi-ho remarked that the defendants acted as the go-between to collect bribes from fellow workers for the site-team leader. The court had to impose custodial sentences on them, given the criminal liability involved.The court heard that at the material time, MEL was a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project responsible for recruiting construction workers to conduct various works. Scaffolders Zhou and Huang worked in a team led by then site team leader Zhuang Huitao.At the material time, Zhou introduced another scaffolder to work in Zhuang’s team. Subsequently between September 2020 and June 2021, Zhou assisted Zhuang to accept bribes totalling over $43,000 from the fellow scaffolder, who acceded to the solicitation due to his worries of losing the job opportunity. After collecting bribes every month, Zhou passed the same to Zhuang.Between September 2021 and March 2022, Zhuang conspired with Huang to accept bribes totalling about $17,000 from two other scaffolders for assisting the duo to continue their employment with MEL. The two fellow workers believed that they would be terminated by Zhuang if they did not pay any bribe.Co-defendant Zhuang, 32, former site team leader of MEL, earlier pleaded guilty to the above three and 13 other bribery charges for soliciting and accepting bribes totalling over $180,000 from six scaffolders. His sentence is scheduled for June 23 at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts.As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.An ICAC spokesperson urges construction workers not to tolerate corruption. Should they be asked to offer advantages in exchange for their employment, they should report to the ICAC immediately. Report corruption hotline: 25 266 366.The Airport Authority Hong Kong, the relevant main contractor SAPR JV and MEL had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Public Prosecutor Lily Yip, assisted by ICAC officers Lawrence Wong.
06
Jun 2023
Subcontractor charged by ICAC jailed for using false worker salary record to claim $150,000A subcontractor of a residential project, charged by the ICAC, was today (June 6) sentenced to five months’ imprisonment at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts for using a false worker salary record to claim contract fee of $150,000 from a contractor. The offence was revealed in the course of a corruption investigation by the Commission.Leung Wai-tong, 45, proprietor of Blue Age Engineering Company (Blue Age), was earlier found guilty of one count of using a false instrument, contrary to Section 73 of the Crimes Ordinance.In delivering his verdict earlier and in sentencing today, Magistrate Mr Peter Yu Chun-cheung said the case was serious in nature, warranting a custodial sentence. He noted that the defendant impaired the salary payment monitoring mechanism devised by the contractor for protecting benefits of the workers and deprived them of their hard-earned money.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was engaged by Shiny Decoration and Engineering Company Limited (Shiny), one of the contractors of a residential project in To Kwa Wan, to carry out decoration works. In May 2020, the defendant engaged Man’s Engineering (Decoration) Limited (Man’s) to recruit workers and conduct the Works.Shiny would pay contract fees to Blue Age by instalments, depending on the work progress. Blue Age would further pay Man’s by instalments depending on the work progress. In the course of claiming a contract fee, Blue Age was required to submit a “Declaration of Remuneration Received by Employees of Package Contractor” (Declaration Form) as a proof of receipt of salary by its workers. The workers were required to sign on the Declaration Form.In September 2020, the defendant submitted a Declaration Form purportedly signed by 11 workers of Man’s to claim contract fees from Shiny. Believing that the contents of the Declaration Form were true, Shiny accepted and processed the claim.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that six of the workers did not sign on the Declaration Form and had never received salary payments of over $150,000 as stated on it.Shiny and Man’s had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Timothy Chen, assisted by ICAC officer Chu Ka-ho.
05
Jun 2023
Two more charged by ICAC in court over $37.5m critical illness insurance compensation scamFollowing the prosecution of three people for their alleged roles in a $37.5 million critical illness insurance compensation scam in which cancer patients were posed as relevant policyholders to undergo medical examinations at clinical institutions to obtain the required medical certificates, a policyholder and her sister were earlier (June 3) further charged by the ICAC and brought to the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts this morning (June 5).Liao Xiaoyi, 44, designer, faced two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to the Common Law; her younger sister Liao Xiaoling, 37, freelance editor, faced three counts of incitement to commit forgery, contrary to the Common Law and section 71 of the Crimes Ordinance.No plea was taken today. Principal Magistrate Miss Ivy Chui Yee-mei adjourned the case to 17 July 2023 for mention. The two defendants were remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.In May 2017, Liao Xiaoyi took out a critical illness insurance policy with AIA International Limited (AIA) which was handled by insurance agent Wong Ka-keung.It is alleged that between October 2017 and December 2020, Liao Xiaoyi conspired together with Wong and other persons to defraud AIA by dishonestly falsely representing that Liao Xiaoyi had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and ovarian cancer, in order to cause and induce AIA to approve her critical illness claims and to pay her compensations in accordance with the insurance policy took out by her.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. It was revealed that two cancer patients were allegedly arranged to pose as Liao Xiaoyi to undergo medical examinations at clinical institutions so as to obtain the required medical certificates.Enquiries also revealed that the two claims made by Liao Xiaoyi under her insurance policy were either declined or withheld by AIA.Meanwhile, the charges against Liao Xiaoling alleged that she incited Wong to make three false certificates of sickness with the intention of inducing other persons to accept them as genuine.In a separate case, Wong was earlier charged by the ICAC with two others – policyholder Lo Chun-kit and Leung Wai-kin, who posed as Lo to undergo medical examinations – for their roles in the scam concerned. The 10 insurance policies handled by Wong involved critical illness and medical expenses claims totaling about $37.5 million. Their case was scheduled for mention next Monday (June 12).AIA had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the cases. As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Jeff Chow. The ICAC had assisted the insurance industry in strengthening its corruption prevention capabilities in key operational areas, such as claims verification and collaborated with the industry to produce the “Corruption Prevention Guide for Insurance Companies”. Insurance companies, insurance practitioners and policyholders could also refer to the Ethics Promotion Website for the Insurance Industry.
02
Jun 2023
Ex-money exchange branch manager jailed for 15 months for $940,000 theft revealed in ICAC graft probeA former branch manager of a currency exchange company, charged by the ICAC, was today (June 2) sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment at the District Court for stealing $940,000 from the company and using a false transaction record to cover up her misappropriation. The illegal activities were revealed in the course of a corruption investigation.Yuen On-ki, 31, former branch manager of Hui’s Brothers Foreign Currency Exchange Company Limited (Hui’s Brothers), earlier pleaded guilty to two charges – one of theft, contrary to Section 9 of the Theft Ordinance; and one of conspiracy for agents to use document with intent to deceive their principal, contrary to Section 9(3) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.In sentencing, Deputy District Judge Mr Bernard Chung said the defendant committed offences which were serious in nature and breached the trust placed in her. A 15 months’ imprisonment was imposed on the defendant, having considered her guilty plea, the full repayment made to her former employer, etc.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was the branch manager of the Tai Wai branch of Hui’s Brothers. The branch operated under the business name Sam Hing Hong Foreign Currency Exchange Limited to provide currency exchange and remittance services. The defendant was responsible for its daily operation, including handling remittance applications of its customers.Hui’s Brothers did not provide any loan services and staff members were not allowed to process remittance applications on credit for its customers. Each branch was required to report to Hui’s Brothers its daily financial position such as the cash balance kept by the branch.Between September 2019 and February 2020, the defendant took out cash totalling $940,000 from the branch for lending several loans to a customer without the permission of Hui’s Brothers.In late February, the defendant learned that the branch would cease operation and an internal audit would be conducted at the branch. Then she instructed an accounting clerk to submit a transaction record to Hui’s Brothers purporting that $940,000 had been transferred from the branch to another branch of Hui’s Brothers.The court heard that the defendant did not make any cash transfer and she used abovementioned the transaction record to mislead Hui’s Brother and to cover up a shortfall of $940,000 at the branch.Hui’s Brothers had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Acting Senior Public Prosecutor Mr Jason Lau, assisted by ICAC officer Louis Chung.

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