Renovator guilty of defrauding Cecil Chao

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2013, 5:40am

A renovator was convicted yesterday of defrauding the firm of flamboyant property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung of nearly HK$100,000.

Or King-lui, 47, was found guilty of nine counts of fraud carried out while he worked on Villa Cecil, where Chao lives, and Cheuk Nang Lookout.

Both residential projects are owned by Cheuk Nang (Holdings), of which Chao is the executive director.

As the site foreman, Or was found to have inflated the sum he would pay to his six workers between May 2010 and September 2011. He told Cheuk Nang one amount, and paid the workers less, pocketing the difference.

Magistrate Ho Wai-yang acquitted Or of one count of fraud because of unreliable witness testimony.

But Ho said all but one of the prosecution witnesses, including Chao, were honest and reliable.

"At no time did Cheuk Nang permit the defendant to give the workers a different sum [as their salary]," Ho said.

Chao earlier told the Independent Commission Against Corruption that his company had paid the exact amount requested by the defendant for his workers' wages.

It did not give him permission to take a cut of that amount, according to papers put forward by the prosecution.

Or has been remanded in custody until he reappears on May 14 to hear his sentence.

Ho dismissed an application from the defence to obtain a community service report, saying an immediate custodial sentence was inevitable because of the serious nature of the offences.

The magistrate also asked Or to come up with a plan to repay the HK$98,775 he obtained dishonestly.