Recent ICAC Cases


14
Dec 2023
Listed company trio charged as ICAC probe reveals $820,000 payment fraudThree former employees of a listed company were charged by the ICAC yesterday (December 13) with conspiracy to defraud after a corruption investigation revealed that the trio had allegedly induced the listed company to pay licence and service fees totalling about $820,000 to two companies by making false representations.The defendants were Anthony Cheng Hiu-tung, 46; former chief financial officer of Janco Holdings Limited (JHL); David Leung Tze-hang, 67, former group senior advisor of JHL; and Cheung Pik-ha, 57, former stakeholder relations manager of JHL.The trio jointly face two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law. They were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance at the Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (December 15) for mention.JHL is listed on the Growth Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Janco HealthCare Limited (JHC) and Janco Express Limited (JEL) are subsidiaries of JHL respectively focusing on business of healthcare products and logistics services.It is alleged that between June 2021 and April 2022, the trio conspired together to defraud JHL by falsely representing that JHC and JEL were due to pay a licence fee of a health product and a service fee for securing a loan from a lender totalling about $820,000, and with intent to defraud, induced JHL to make the payments to two companies.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that the two companies had never made any licence agreement with JHL and had nothing to do with JHL’s loan agreement. It was also revealed that Cheng allegedly caused JHL to settle the payments in question with the two companies even though he was aware of the circumstances. Leung and Cheung were in control of the two companies and the proceeds generated from the scam.JHL and its subsidiaries have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The ICAC reminds senior executives of listed companies to adhere to the legal and ethical obligations so as to safeguard the interest of different stakeholders. The ICAC continues to assist listed companies to enhance their corruption prevention capabilities and corporate governance. For details, please visit the webpage of the “Ethics Promotion Programme for Listed Companies”
14
Dec 2023
Foreman and casual worker charged by ICAC jailed for conspiracy to defraud over false attendanceA then foreman and a then casual cleaning worker of a contractor of a public housing estate, charged by the ICAC, were today (December 14) respectively sentenced to seven months and five months in jail at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts for conspiracy to defraud the contractor of wages totalling about $280,000 by falsifying the attendance records of cleaning workers. The offences were revealed in the course of a corruption investigation by the ICAC.Zhuang Ruiqing, 49, former foreman of Swan Hygiene services Limited (Swan Hygiene) was sentenced to a jail term of seven months; while Huang Kairong, 51, former casual cleaning worker of Swan Hygiene, was jailed for five months. The defendants were earlier each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.In sentencing, Deputy Magistrate Ms Rachel Po Hi-hau said Zhuang was the instigator of the scam, while Huang’s offences involved a long period of time and a considerable amount of money, warranting deterrent sentences.At the material time, Swan Hygiene was the cleaning contractor of Lai Tak Tsuen, a public housing estate in Tai Hang. It was required to provide a foreman and 15 day-shift cleaning workers to work at the estate every day. Apart from full-time cleaning worker, Swan Hygiene also engaged Winngo Cleaning Services Limited (Winngo Cleaning) as a recruitment agency to hire casual cleaning workers to work at the estate. Swan Hygiene relied on the attendance information provided by Winngo Cleaning to calculate the wages of casual cleaning workers.As a foreman of Swan Hygiene, Zhuang was responsible for supervising cleaning workers at the estate, reporting the attendance information to Winngo Cleaning and distributing wages to casual cleaning workers in cash for Winngo Cleaning.The court heard that between March 2019 and September 2021, Zhuang separately referred Huang and another woman to work as casual cleaning workers at Lai Tak Tsuen. Upon the instruction of Zhuang, Huang and the woman respectively reported that they had worked at the estate for over 560 days and about 40 days. Believing that the attendance details provided by Winngo Cleaning was accurate, Swan Hygiene paid a total of about $280,000 to Winngo Cleaning as the wages of the duo.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that Huang was in fact a full-time cleaning worker of a secondary school in Tai Hang at the material time. Around 400 days in the over 560 days Huang purportedly worked at Lai Tak Tsuen overlapped with his working days at the secondary school. Meanwhile, the woman had almost never worked at the estate. The duo only received wages totalling over $120,000 from Zhuang.Swan Hygiene and Winngo Cleaning had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Kenny Chan, assisted by ICAC officer Bonnie Mak.
13
Dec 2023
Property investor and mother jailed for $750,000 agency commission fraud over shopping centre purchaseA property investor and his mother, charged by the ICAC, were today (December 13) each sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment at the District Court for conspiracy to defraud by deceiving an investment partner into paying an agency commission of over $750,000 in the purchase of a shopping centre at $168 million revealed in a bribery probe.Tse Yiu-sing, 39, sole director-cum-shareholder of Landcorp Properties Limited (Landcorp), and his mother Sin Yuk-ling, 68, were earlier convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.In sentencing, Deputy Judge Mr Kenneth Chan Ping-chau said the defendant committed the offence out of greed. The deputy judge added that deterrent sentences were inevitable as it was the responsibility of the court to maintain a level playing field for businesses in Hong Kong.The court heard that in June 2019, Tse invited an investment partner to jointly acquire Greenview Court Shopping Centre in Tsuen Wan. It was agreed that Total Link Limited (Total Link) would be acquired as a vehicle for purchasing the shopping centre. Sin and the investment partner respectively held 55 per cent shares and 45 per cent shares of Total Link, and all costs and profits in relation to the purchase of the shopping centre would be shared on a pro rata basis.In July 2019, Total Link signed a provisional sale and purchase agreement with the vendor via Midland Realty (Shops II) Limited (Midland) for purchasing the shopping centre at $168 million. Total Link was required to pay one per cent of the transaction price, i.e. $1.68 million, as agency commission to Midland. According to the above agreement, the investment partner should bear $750,000 of it.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that Landcorp reached another agreement with Midland through Sin to procure the transaction. According to the agreement, Midland and Landcorp would cooperate to procure the transaction. Midland would retain 20 per cent of the agency commission concerned, while the remaining 80 per cent would be paid to Landcorp, which was owned by Tse.However, Tse and Sin concealed from the investment partner the agreement, with intent to induce the investment partner to pay $750,000 agency commission and to obtain the percentage of agency commission Landcorp entitled to receive.The transaction was eventually terminated and Total Link did not complete the purchase of the shopping centre.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Joey Lin, assisted by ICAC officer Chacha Chan.
11
Dec 2023
Duo jailed for bribery over RMB 500,000 purchase order of semiconductor companyA then director of a semiconductor manufacturer and a sales representative of a supplier, charged by the ICAC, were today (December 11) each sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment after admitting at the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts that they had offered and accepted bribes for facilitating the supplier to obtain a purchase order for items used in manufacturing semiconductors worth over RMB 500,000.The defendants were Stephen Ho Chi-hoi, 55, former director of engineering department of Nexperia (China) Ltd (Nexperia); and James Gin Yiu-chung, 71, sales representative of Corbest Development Limited (Corbest) and its subsidiary Dong Guan Sun Honest Microelectronics Equipment Limited (Sun Honest).The duo today pleaded guilty before Acting Principal Magistrate Ms Amy Chan Wai-mun to one count of conspiracy for an agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.At the material time, Ho was the person-in-charge of engineering department of Nexperia. He was responsible for supervising the department to assess technical capabilities of suppliers and recommending vendors to Nexperia. Gin was a sales representative of Corbest and Sun Honest, which were both suppliers of Nexperia.The court heard that in around February 2017, Nexperia started to select a supplier for two items, namely mold chase and cavity bar, which were used to manufacture semiconductors. Nexperia invited Gin and two other suppliers to submit quotations and Sun Honest was eventually engaged by Nexperia.Nexperia subsequently placed a purchase order with Sun Honest and settled payment of over RMB 500,000. After receiving commission of about RMB 36,000 from Corbest in relation to the purchase order, Gin offered a bribe of HK$16,000 to Ho rewarding him for facilitating the selection of Sun Honest as Nexperia’s supplier.Nexperia did not allow its employees to solicit or accept advantages in relation to its business. The company has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Ray Leung.
06
Dec 2023
Two months’ jail for ex-security guard of public housing estate offering ‘laisees’ to supervisor over duty arrangementA former security guard of a public housing estate, charged by the ICAC, was today (December 6) sentenced to two months imprisonment at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts for offering “laisees” totalling $4,000 to her supervisor for arranging her to a post she preferred.Liang Jinlan, 49, former security guard of Nice Property Management Limited (Nice Property), earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(b) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.In sentencing, Acting Principal Magistrate Miss Veronica Heung Shuk-han remarked that a custodial sentence was inevitable as bribery was a serious offence and the defendant’s law-abiding awareness was weak.At the material time, Nice Property was engaged by the Housing Department (HD) to provide security services in Lok Fu Estate. Nice Property forbade its staff to offer or accept any advantages in relation to their duties.The court heard that the defendant was a morning shift security guard of the estate, her daily duty roster was prepared by a security supervisor. Between mid-November 2022 and late January 2023, which was after the birthday of the security supervisor and during Chinese New Year, the defendant offered two “laisees” totalling $4,000 to the security supervisor for arranging her to work at the reception of a building in Lok Fu Estate.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint referred by the HD. The department and Nice Property had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case. The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Michael Lim.The security supervisor concerned was earlier charged by the ICAC with two counts of bribery. No plea was entered and her case was adjourned to January 10 next year for mention.

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