Model jailed three years for spending HK$340,000 on lover's credit card
Man buys 58 iPads without shops realising that his name isn't 'Yvette'
A male model was jailed for three years yesterday for spending HK$340,000 on his lover's credit cards to buy iPads by the dozen and other gadgets, which he then resold.
Koo Chi-nga, 35, had received permission from socialite Yvette Yung to use the two credit cards, which had been issued in her name under the accounts of her husband.
Koo was arrested in May last year for using the cards between October and November 2010 to buy 58 iPads, an iPhone and a digital camera, which he resold to Mong Kok vendors.
He faced 18 deception-related charges.
On October 8, he was convicted in the District Court of 16 counts of obtaining property by deception and two counts of attempting to do so.
Judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on said yesterday that a heavy sentence was necessary to send a clear message that it was a serious crime to use somebody else's credit card; otherwise it would "challenge the integrity of the credit card system".
Kwok said he took into account testimonies from salespeople that they did not realise the English name on the cards was female because "the name Yvette is rare".
At the time of the offences, Koo and the married Yung, managing director of the Occasions public relations firm, were having an affair.
The two cards belonged to Yung's husband, Andrew Yuen Wai-man, who runs a family business, Dayton International.
Defence lawyer Vivian Wong said Koo did not steal or fake the cards but had been given permission to use them.
The judge rebutted: "Say I give you a credit card right now. That doesn't mean that you should use it, right?"
Wong also said Koo lived in public housing and had been struggling to earn a living. He had to support his ageing parents and a leukaemia-afflicted elder brother, she said.
Koo had left school after Form Four and worked as a sales assistant in a fashion shop, as a fireman and model but could not find a long-term job.
Yung and her husband had intended to foot the HK$340,000 bill, but the two credit card companies - Visa and American Express - have agreed to cover it.
The judge said Koo's crimes had caused the two credit card companies to lose money, which he was unable to pay back.