Promoter jailed for HK$63m cash cons
Canto-pop stars Andy Lau Tak-wah and Samuel Hui Koon-kit wrote to the District Court attesting to the good character of impresario Abba Chan Tat-chee before he was jailed for three years yesterday on charges including money laundering.
Chan, 64, pleaded guilty to six charges, including money-laundering, conspiracy to steal, theft and conspiracy to defraud, involving a total of HK$63 million, at the District Court in 2006. Chan's sentencing had been adjourned until yesterday after three other defendants in the case pleaded not guilty and went on trial.
The other defendants - former China Sciences Conservational Power (CSCP) chairman Hon Ming-kong, 43, financial controller Anthony Chow Ho-tung, 51, and an employee of a subsidiary company, Kan Lai Lai-kan, 43 - were convicted following the trial, in which Chan testified against them. District Court Judge Stanley Chan Kwong-chi is due to sentence them today.
At the sentencing hearing yesterday, Chan's barrister, Lawrence Lok SC, submitted letters of mitigation from Lau and Hui, among others.
Lau wrote that Chan was a 'very sociable person and is very generous in helping others'.
Hui said he had first worked with Chan, then a promoter, in 2004. The singer found Chan to be 'a trustworthy person'. Actor Wong Hei attended the sentencing.
The judge also banned Chan from acting as a company director for eight years. He recommended that Chan be placed in protective custody after a request by the defendant's legal team, on the basis that he had testified against others.
The court had heard that Chan's offences, committed between April 2004 and April 2005, involved two listed companies of which he had been chairman: China Conservational Power Holdings and CSCP.
Chan transferred HK$11 million from a payment made to CSCP to a bank account of a firm he controlled. A further HK$4 million, with false documents describing it as a loan by CSCP to a subsidiary, was deposited into bank accounts of two companies under Chan's control. Some HK$10 million was released from CSCP as a deposit for buying shares in Beijing China Sciences General Energy and Environment by another CSCP subsidiary, Abba China Holdings. But the money was later deposited into six bank accounts designated by Chan.
The court heard the funds had had to be paid back before CSCP published its annual report, so Chan had engaged in conspiracies to transfer HK$38 million back to the firm.
The three other defendants had faced charges including conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to defraud, theft and publishing a false statement. They were accused of conspiring with Chan and others to steal company funds, and a series of cover-ups. They were convicted of all charges except one count of conspiracy to defraud, of which Hon was cleared.