Property firm director named in writs seeking $73m

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 June, 2003, 12:00am

Builder and investment house demand costs related to failed Villa Pinada project

The embattled director of True Gold Investments is facing further legal action after he was named in three High Court actions seeking to recover $73.38 million.

Tai Chi-wah, 47, managing director of Gold-Face Holdings, is one of two executives of the property firm charged with conspiracy to defraud over the failed Villa Pinada development.

He was released on $1.8 million bail following an appearance in Eastern Court last Friday, where no plea was entered.

Yesterday, construction firm China Overseas Building Construction Ltd initiated two High Court actions to recover more than $72 million for the 'outstanding balance of constructions costs'.

The first action, which targeted Profit Nation Development Ltd, Gold-Face Holdings Ltd, Gold-Face Finance Ltd and Tai, sought $21,402,800 in accordance with a contract signed on October 24, 2001.

The second action again named Tai, Gold-Face Holdings Ltd and Gold-Face Finance Ltd as defendants, as well as True Gold Investments Ltd.

The amount sought in the second action was $50,644,791 arising out of a May 24, 2002, contract.

The third writ was filed by Sun Hung Kai Investment Services Ltd and named Oodless Investment Ltd and Tai as defendants. The sum of $1,335,559.24 was being sought as the 'outstanding indebtedness owed'.

During Tai's appearance before magistrate David Dufton, the court heard that he and company financial controller Lim Hau-chun, 50, allegedly conspired with other people to defraud Paul Daniel Emerson, the principal in the Emersons law firm.

The solicitors firm maintained an account for stakeholders in the project with the Bank of China (Hong Kong). The money had been deposited by buyers of uncompleted flats, the court heard.

It was said that Tai and Lim created fake documents relating to construction work supposedly completed on Villa Pinada by Gold Falcon Engineering.

After receiving the allegedly fake documents, the solicitors released money to True Gold from the accounts of buyers, the court heard.

It is alleged the two defendants disposed of the bulk of the funds for purposes not connected to the project's construction.