Hong Kong Ex-Minister Gets Suspended Sentence for Fraud

Hong Kong Ex-Minister Gets Suspended Sentence for Fraud

Hong Kong’s former development secretary Mak Chai-kwong received a suspended sentence for his role in defrauding the government of more than HK$700,000 ($90,249) of housing allowances during the 1980s. District Court Judge Johnny Chan gave Mak and former assistant director of the highway department Tsang King-man sentences of eight months each, suspended for two years. Mak and Tsang were convicted in June of concealing that they had an interest in apartments that they leased from each other’s wives in order to claim the allowances.Mak had been arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption less than two weeks after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was sworn in on July 1 last year. Two more of Leung’s cabinet members have since resigned and lawmakers have called for Mak’s successor Paul Chan to quit over his interest in farmland designated by the government for redevelopment.

Mak’s lawyer earlier told the court that there was a structural deficiency in the civil servant housing allowance system and presented letters of support from Financial Secretary John Tsang and former senior officials as part of a mitigation plea.

Franklin Lam, a former UBS analyst, resigned from the Executive Council after the city’s anti-graft agency this month dropped its investigation into him. Prosecutors said there was no evidence to support charges of misconduct in public office against Lam.

Another cabinet member Barry Cheung resigned in May from all public positions after the police began an investigation into the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange Ltd. that he founded and headed.

Leung’s support rating was at a record low of 45.1 on a scale of 0 to 100, according to survey of 1,032 people conducted July 22-25 by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Program.

The case is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region v. Mak Chai-kwong and Tsang King-man, DCCC956/2012 in the Hong Kong District Court.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kelvin Wong in Hong Kong at kwong40@bloomberg.net; Emma Bi in Hong Kong at ebi4@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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