Architects deny deception claim

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 12:00am

Pair accused of falsifying invoices on school projects

Two architects pleaded not guilty in Eastern Court yesterday to deceiving the Architectural Services Department over the amount of work their staff did on a school improvement programme.

Max Chan Kwok-leung, 42, and Graham John Jex, 63, were charged by the ICAC with conspiracy to defraud. Chan was also charged with one count of theft and one of false accounting. Acting Principal Magistrate David Thomas adjourned the case until August 13 for a pre-trial review, and granted the defendants $5,000 bail.

The prosecution will call 14 witnesses, including 11 civilians and three Independent Commission Against Corruption officers.

Chan and Jex allegedly conspired to defraud the Architectural Services Department by submitting false and misleading information. The monthly time log sheets they submitted allegedly contained false or misleading information, purporting to show that key employees of RMJM Hong Kong were involved in the improvement programme - and the number of hours they worked on the project.

The information led the department to believe RMJM had provided the requisite minimum staff for the work, according to prosecutors.

The court was told Chan had submitted an invoice dated November 12, 2001, to the department. It claimed three people had spent six hours each on work relating to the Po Leung Kuk Committee Fellowship Association No1 Primary School and St Mark's School.

Chan also allegedly gave the department another invoice dated November 23, 2001, related to other work on the schools.