Judge rules bankers should face criminal authorities

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am


Two former bankers who supplied fake evidence to the Securities and Futures Commission while being investigated by the regulator should be referred to the criminal authorities, a judge said yesterday.

Wan Ten-lok, formerly of Core Pacific-Yamaichi Capital, gave misleading responses to a Hong Kong exchange inquiry about his employer's role in an initial public offering of a company that fabricated its sales, the Securities and Futures Appeal tribunal ruled yesterday.

And when he was subsequently investigated by the SFC, he framed an innocent colleague for preparing the misleading submissions to the exchange, Justice John Saunders ruled.

Sunny Yan Kwok-ting, another former Core Pacific banker, provided supporting evidence to the SFC that 'aided and abetted' Wan in making his false claims, the judge said.

'[The] Director of Public Prosecutions may take up evidence in respect of any prosecution he may wish to instigate against Mr Wan and Mr Yan,' Saunders said, while handing down his decision.

In 2002, Core Pacific advised on the stock listing of Tungda Innovative Lighting. Tungda rapidly found itself under SFC investigation for false accounting, and its chairman, Chu Chien-tung, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

In 2003, Wan was responsible for three letters Core Pacific sent Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing that purportedly showed the bank 'had conducted sufficient due diligence work' on Tungda's offering, Saunders wrote. These letters 'muddied the waters and concealed the truth' about Tungda's finances.

The SFC began investigating Core Pacific staff who advised Tungda, including Wan, in 2005.

Wan, who joined Australia's Macquarie Bank as a managing director for two years after leaving Core Pacific in 2004, told the SFC he had not prepared Core Pacific's letters to the exchange about Tungda. He claimed another Core Pacific director, Carol Tsang Sze-man, wrote the submissions while he merely signed them.

But Tsang did not prepare the three letters, Saunders ruled. He said Wan supplied the SFC with fabricated documents containing forgeries of Tsang's signature.

Wan and Yan 'embarked on a thoroughly discreditable and scurrilous course of conduct', Saunders said.

He added they 'quite deliberately and unscrupulously sought to blame a completely innocent person for Mr Wan's own shortcomings in discharging his duties to the exchange'.