Postal worker faked 130 doctors' notes to get HK$217,000 sick pay

Bogus documents bought from Taobao used to get benefits worth HK$217,000, court hears

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 3:40am

A Hongkong Post worker used 130 bogus doctor's notes bought from the popular mainland shopping site Taobao to get 635 rest days over four years, the District Court heard yesterday.

Tang Lai-kit, 39, also gained HK$217,381 in sick leave allowance, the court heard. Tang, a former contract worker, earned about HK$335 a day for sorting and weighing mails and manual work in the Central Post Office.

He had first used a sham medical certificate to claim a day off for "back pain" in 2009. He later claimed that he was suffering from an "anxiety disorder" after he genuinely received three days off work for injuring his finger while performing his duties.

Tang pleaded guilty to 39 charges relating to the possession and use of false instruments and equipment for making false instruments between 2009 and January this year. Because of the large number of bogus documents involved, the prosecution decided to press on with only 39 sample charges.

Most of Tang's fake doctor's notes gave him six days of sick leave, the prosecution said.

His crimes finally came to light when Hongkong Post grew suspicious of the large amount of sick leave Tang was taking regularly. The post office raised the matter with the Medical Council, which then advised it to refer the case to law enforcement officers.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption subsequently mounted an investigation and arrested Tang on January 10 this year.

In Tang's flat in Wong Chuk Hang, ICAC officers found more than 900 blank doctor's notes bearing the names of Dr Lee Kuen and Dr Lam Tak-wa. They also seized two fake doctors' stamps. Tang told the investigators that he had bought the bogus doctor's notes from Taobao and faked the doctors' signatures.

Tang also faked two false medical reports when he refused to attend an interview with the Medical Council over his dubious doctor's notes.

District Judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che adjourned sentencing to December 20 and called for a background report on Tang, who was remanded in jail. Yiu said Tang could consider whether to repay any of the money he had cheated his employer out of. Repayment would be reflected in the sentencing, Yiu said.