Man who posed as property owner’s son in HK$6.5m Wing Lung Bank cheating case gets three years’ jail

He had presented false copies of assignment, bank statement and tenancy agreement to the bank in 2004

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 July, 2016, 10:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 July, 2016, 10:01am

An unemployed man who helped in cheating Wing Lung Bank of more than HK$6.5 million in mortgages by posing as the son of a property owner 12 years ago was jailed for three years on Friday.

Deputy district judge Ko Wai-hung slammed the scheme for delivering a heavy blow to Hong Kong’s existing financial system as he noted that Wong Wai-lung’s actions have brought serious inconvenience to property owners and losses to the bank. Wong had presented falsified copies of assignment, bank statement and tenancy agreement to the bank in 2004.

The crime, he said, was meticulously planned by criminals who were very familiar with mortgage applications, and executed using falsified documents that appeared so genuine that even lawyers and bankers were fooled.

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“The case was very serious,” he added.

Wong’s defence counsel had argued in mitigation that he was not the mastermind.

But the judge pointed out that Wong had played an active and indispensable role even if he was not involved in producing the false documents as he had filed them in return for a generous reward of HK$220,000.

Ko said the defendant must have known that he broke the law and understood the severity of that breach as he later escaped to the mainland for more than a decade to avoid bearing legal responsibility.

But he did not prolong the sentence as he considered that Wong had turned himself in to police last year in order to take care of his elderly mother in Hong Kong.

Wong, 39, pleaded guilty last week to one count of using a false instrument and another of using a copy of a false instrument, while charges of conspiracy to defraud were kept on court file.

The case centred on two mortgage loans for two flats in Yau Ma Tei and Jordan.

The District Court was previously told that Wong went to the bank in 2004 after his “father” collected new assignments by pretending the originals were lost.

Wong pretended they were a family and signed off on the mortgage as a guarantor working at a jewellery shop at HK$15,000 per month.

Two loans were subsequently granted by Wing Lung Bank at HK$6 million and HK$530,000.

But the cover was soon blown the following January, when the real owner of the Yau Ma Tei flat was contacted by a real estate agent who mentioned the Wing Lung mortgages.