Recent ICAC Cases


14
Jul 2022
Ex-legal clerk charged by ICAC in $20m mortgage loans and money laundering case has sentence increased to 75 months after reviewA former legal clerk, charged by the ICAC with defrauding two licensed money lenders of mortgage loans totalling $20 million and laundering part of the sums, had his jail term increased from 47 months to 75 months after the Court of Appeal (CA) review his sentence today (July 14).Kevin So Kam-wai, 46, former legal clerk of the now defunct K.L. Leung & Co. (KLL-solicitors), was convicted of four charges at the District Court in January 2021 and was subsequently jailed for 47 months in March 2021. The four charges concerned were two of fraud, one of using copies of false instruments and one of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence, respectively contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance, Section 74 of the Crimes Ordinance and Section 25(1) of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance.The Department of Justice (DoJ) subsequently sought a review of Kevin So’s sentence. The application was today heard by Mr Justice Derek Pang Wai-cheong, Madam Justice Maggie Poon Man-kay and Madam Justice Anthea Pang Po-kam, all Justices of Appeal of the CA. In allowing the DoJ’s application, the CA increased the sentence of Kevin So to 75 months.Co-defendant Jacky So Yun-yue, 53, former legal executive of KLL-solicitors, was jailed for 30 months after being convicted of one count of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence jointly charged with Kevin So. He subsequently lodged an appeal against his conviction, which was upheld by the CA today.The court heard that at the material time, Kevin So and Jacky So were respectively legal clerk and legal executive of KLL-solicitors. Jacky So was also a director of Chilly Associates Limited (Chilly), an offshore company.Kevin So, as a legal clerk of KLL-solicitors, handled the purchase of a private residential property in Kennedy Town by a couple (the property owners). However, after the transaction was completed in July 2014, the relevant title deed was not furnished to the couple.In November 2014, Kevin So falsely represented to Sky Credit Limited (Sky Credit), a licensed money lender, that he was authorised by the property owners to handle an application for a mortgage loan of $10 million. Relevant documents purportedly signed by the property owners were submitted to Sky Credit.Believing that the documents were genuine, Sky Credit released the loan of $10 million into a bank account of Chilly upon an authorisation purportedly signed by the property owners.ICAC investigation revealed that Jacky So disposed of the loan by transferring over $7.1 million to the bank account of Kevin So and $2.2 million to settle a payment owed to a client of KLL-solicitors. Jacky So kept the remaining $700,000 in his personal bank account.In March 2015, Sky Credit instituted a civil claim against the property owners, KLL-solicitors and Chilly after it discovered that the repayments of the loan were running into arrears.The court heard that on March 19, 2015, Kevin So used copies of two letters purportedly issued by the property owners to instruct another solicitors firm which he worked for at that time to act on the behalves of the property owners in the civil claim. The property owners were not aware of the civil claim.Between February 1 and June 19, 2015, Kevin So also falsely represented to Jafoon Finance Company (Jafoon), another licensed money lender, that the property owners had authorised him to handle an application for another mortgage loan of $10 million on the property.Believing in Kevin So’s representation which was supported by the authorisation purportedly signed by the property owners, Jafoon released the loan of $10 million, which was later used to repay the loan of Sky Credit.The court heard that the property owners had never obtained or instructed anyone to obtain the aforesaid two loans totalling $20 million.The prosecution was today represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Vinci Lam and prosecuting counsel Juliana Chow, assisted by Senior Public Prosecutor Marcus Lee and ICAC officer Bonnie Mak.
12
Jul 2022
Trio charged by ICAC over $220,000 dummy agent commission fraudThree persons, including two insurance agents, were charged by the ICAC today (July 12) with conspiracy to defraud an insurer of commissions totalling about $220,000 by making false representations that a number of insurance policies were handled by the two agents.Wong Chau-ying, 25, and Ho Hang-ching, 28, both former insurance agents of FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited (FWD), and Bernice Yeung, 53, secretary, were charged in two cases.Wong alone faces three counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law. Ho and Yeung jointly face another similar offence. They were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts and the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday (July 14) for plea respectively.The alleged offences took place between December 2018 and June 2019. At the material time, Wong and Ho were insurance agents of FWD. Yeung was a secretary employed by a branch manager of FWD, and she was not an employee of FWD.When an insurance product was sold by an insurance agent of FWD, the relevant handling agent and up-line manager would respectively receive a commission and an overriding commission from the company.It is alleged that Wong had conspired together with others to defraud FWD by dishonestly falsely representing that two insurance policy applications were genuinely handled by Wong, and two other insurance policy applications, in which he was named as the handling agent, were genuinely made by the relevant policyholders, thereby causing FWD to approve the four applications and release commissions calculated in accordance with the company’s policy.It is also alleged that Yeung and Ho had conspired with the above branch manager to defraud FWD by dishonestly falsely representing that two insurance policy applications were genuinely handled by Ho, thereby causing FWD to approve the two applications and release commissions calculated in accordance with the company’s policy.ICAC investigation revealed that FWD approved the above six applications and released commissions of about $150,000 and about $25,000 to Wong and Ho respectively. But it is alleged that the duo were actually not the handling agents of those insurance policies. Commissions totalling about $45,000 were released to their up-line managers in relation to the above insurance policies.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. The two defendants were charged after seeking legal advice from the Department of Justice. As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.FWD has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
05
Jul 2022
Duo posed as dummy insurance agents charged by ICAC with money laundering for handling $1.2m commissionsThe ICAC today (July 5) charged two dummy insurance agents in separate cases with laundering crime proceeds. The duo had allegedly conspired with others to make false representations that several insurance policies were handled by them and had transferred most of the commissions and bonuses, totalling over $1.2 million, to those who recruited them to take part in the scam.Au Yeung Yu-huan, 44; and Cheng Tsz-sing, 27, both former insurance agents of Chubb Life Insurance Company Limited (Chubb), each of them faces one count of conspiracy to deal 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.The duo were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday (July 7) for plea.The cases took place between May 2019 and August 2020. Both defendants joined Chubb as insurance agents in late June 2019. At the material time, Au Yeung and Cheng were respectively named as the handling agent of three insurance policies and one insurance policy. Chubb released commissions and bonuses of over $960,000 and over $270,000 to them respectively.It is alleged that Au Yeung had conspired with other persons to deal with the sum of over $960,000, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that it in whole or in part directly or indirectly represented the proceeds of an indictable offence. Cheng had allegedly handled the sum of over $270,000.It is alleged that the duo were actually not the handling agents of the four insurance policies. After receiving the above commissions and bonuses, Au Yeung and Cheng had allegedly retained over $127,000 and over $27,000 respectively, and transferred a total of over $1 million to those who recruited them to take part in the scam.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. The two defendants were charged after seeking legal advice from the Department of Justice. As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.Chubb has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the cases.
30
Jun 2022
Ex-manager of green wall installation company charged as ICAC probe reveals business diversion fraudA former marketing manager of a green wall installation company was charged by the ICAC yesterday (June 29) with fraud by making false representations to its clients that the company was renamed so as to divert its business totalling over $160,000 to a company related to her.Lee Man-ling, 36, former marketing manager of Midori Creation International Limited (Midori), faces three counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance. She was released on ICAC bail, pending her appearance in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts next Monday (July 4) for plea.At the material time, the defendant was responsible for sourcing business for Midori, which specialised in green wall installation and maintenance services. She tendered her resignation in early October 2018 and left the company in early November the same year. According to her employment contract, she should not carry out business which would compete with Midori during her tenure.Two of the charges allege that between July 2018 and April 2019, the defendant falsely represented to two clients of Midori that the company had been renamed to Plant Plant Holding Company Limited (Plant Plant) and with intent to defraud, induced the two clients to engage the services of Plant Plant.ICAC investigation revealed that the two clients believed in the defendant’s false representations and engaged Plant Plant to provide services involving payments totalling over $160,000.The remaining charge alleges that between late October and early November 2018, the defendant concealed from Midori that she was carrying out business for Plant Plant and with intent to defraud, induced Midori to allow her to continue handling the clients of Midori.The investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, legal advice was sought from the Department of Justice, which advised charging the defendant.Midori has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
29
Jun 2022
Five policyholders charged by ICAC over $280,000 insurance claim fraudFive policyholders were charged by the ICAC yesterday (June 28) in separate cases for allegedly conspiring with others to deceive an insurer into granting a number of applications for accident insurance claims made by them and releasing them compensation and reimbursement of medical expenses totalling over $280,000 by making false representations about their injuries.The defendants are five policyholders of AIA International Limited (AIA), aged between 31 and 35. Renee Li Yin, clerk; Rachataphruksa Anusorn, restaurant worker; Yeung Lung, head of compliance; Lam In-kwan, accountant, and Tam Kai-chun, clinical team leader; face a total of 12 counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.The defendants were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (June 30) for plea.The cases took place between November 2016 and July 2018. At the material time, the defendants had each taken out an AIA life insurance policy with an accident rider through a referrer engaged by an insurance broker.The five insurance policies covered disability compensation, accident medical expenses reimbursement and accident indemnity. An accident insurance claim had to be supported by documentary proof, including receipts of medical consultations or treatments and sick leave certificates issued by doctors or physiotherapists.The charges allege that the defendants individually conspired together with the referrer to defraud AIA by dishonestly falsely representing that 12 applications for accident insurance claims purportedly supported by documentary proof were genuine, thereby causing and inducing AIA to approve the applications and release compensation and reimbursement of medical expenses ranging from over $20,000 to over $100,000 to each defendant. The total compensation and reimbursement amounted to $280,000.The defendants had allegedly made false representations in the above accident insurance claims that they had received medical treatment for their injuries and were unable to work for a total of around 160 days due to temporary disabilities.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. The five policyholders were charged after seeking legal advice from the Department of Justice. As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.AIA has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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