District councillor Lam Yuet admits HK$6.6 million mortgage swindle
A district councillor has admitted using false documents to deceive Hang Seng Bank into granting him HK$6.6 million in mortgages.
The District Court heard yesterday that Lam Yuet, 35, used the documents to show that he had a stable job as a senior marketing manager and a regular monthly income of HK$38,000.
The Islands District Council member told police he did so because he feared the bank would refuse to accept the pay and subsidies he received as a full-time district councillor as proof of income and so would reject his mortgage applications.
The court heard that he successfully took out two 70 per cent loan-to-value mortgages on two Tseung Kwan O flats he bought with his father.
Lam pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining an advantage from Hang Seng Bank by deception and one of attempting to deceive Standard Chartered Bank.
Prosecutor Lam Shun-chiu told the court that among the documents the defendant submitted to Hang Seng Bank was a letter which purportedly showed that he was the senior marketing manager of the company Mix Media, of which he was a shareholder.
He did not hold such a position and the signature of a director on the letter was forged, the prosecutor said.
Lawyers for the councillor submitted 24 letters written by his family and friends asking for clemency. Legislative councillor Paul Tse Wai-chun was in court to show his support.
In mitigation, barrister Bernard Chung said Lam Yuet was a shareholder and director of Mix Media. "The defendant has suffered from anxiety disorder and depression after the incident came to light," Chung said. "He may also lose his job [as a district councillor]."
District Judge Josiah Lam Wai-kuen adjourned sentencing to December 6, pending a community service order report on the defendant, who was released on bail.