Property developer jailed over ploy to frustrate HK$14m deal
A property developer was jailed for three years yesterday for conspiring to make false claims in legal proceedings to try to frustrate a HK$14 million deal for a building in To Kwa Wan.
Passing sentence in the District Court, Judge Bernard Whaley said Chow Kit-kwong, director of Charmfar, was the mastermind behind the 1998 conspiracy.
Chow, who pleaded not guilty, was convicted of two charges of aiding and abetting a person to commit perjury and one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Barrister Giles Surman, for Chow, said his client had lost his business, reputation and trust because of the convictions and would find it very difficult to recover his standing after his release.
Prosecutor Peter Ip Tak-keung told the court earlier that a repossession mediator, Philip Chan Man-kwong, had arranged for rooftop resident Sin Yin-yat to claim the right to a hut at 44 Kowloon City Road so the completion of a deal to buy the building could be delayed until a predicted fall in property prices.
According to testimony, Chow agreed to pay HK$14 million for the property in March 1998.
Three months later, Chan approached Sin, who agreed to move out of his rooftop hut for HK$260,000 in return for filing a claim against the owner to try to frustrate the deal. Chow promised to pay Sin HK$200,000 if the litigation was successful.
Sin falsely claimed in the writ that he had never given up his right to the hut, where he had lived for more than 20 years. During the case, Sin also falsely claimed he had never received any compensation.
In October 2004 the owner agreed to sell the property to Chan for only HK$8.3 million.
In June last year Sin pleaded guilty in the District Court to two counts of perjury and one of forgery. His one-year jail sentence was suspended for two years. Two months later Chan was convicted of two charges of aiding and abetting another person in perjury, a charge of forgery and one of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
He was jailed for three years.