Tens of millions of dollars in cash cheques deposited into Birmingham City football club boss Carson Yeung Ka-sing's bank accounts by a Macau casino operator needed explanation, a forensic accounting expert said in court yesterday.
"It is unusual to see cheques like these and this requires some explanation," Roderick Sutton told the District Court.
The court heard earlier that Sociedade de Jogos de Macau S.A. (SJM), one of the six companies authorised to operate casinos in Macau, issued a series of cash cheques for a total of HK$64 million, which were deposited into Yeung's accounts from late 2004 to early 2005. Sutton, of FTI Consulting, has been called by the prosecution in Yeung's 25-day money-laundering trial to comment on the patterns of deposits and withdrawals of five bank accounts held by Yeung and his father.
Sutton, who is a fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, is widely used as an expert in money-laundering trials in the District Court and High Court.
Yeung is being tried over five counts of money laundering totalling HK$721 million. The five accounts were with Wing Lung Bank and HSBC.
The alleged offences took place from January 2001 to December 2007.
The court also heard that a cashier's order of HK$35 million was made payable to SJM from Yeung's bank account in January 2005. Two days later, it was redeemed.
Once during Sutton's evidence yesterday, District Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong stood down the trial so that defence accounting experts and the court interpreter could be provided with infrared headphones to enable them to hear the evidence more clearly.
Sutton's reports also said that a bank transfer of HK$39.6 million was drawn from Yeung's Wing Lung Bank personal savings account to Messrs Prince Evans, a solicitors' firm based in Britain.
He said his reports were based on spreadsheets from the police, bank statements, supporting documents, account-opening statements and tax records.
In the prosecution's opening, John Reading SC told the court that the HK$721 million deposited in five accounts was not commensurate with Yeung and his father's combined income of HK$2,159,392.
"The pattern of deposits and withdrawals in the subject bank accounts show placement, layering and integration," he said.
There were 437 cash deposit transactions totalling HK$97 million more in Yeung and his father's bank accounts.
The prosecution alleges that almost all of the cash deposits were made by unknown parties without any apparent reason.
The trial will continue on Monday.