Birmingham City Football Club boss Carson Yeung Ka-sing concealed his loss in a property development project in Fanling and claimed instead that he made a HK$15 million profit, a court heard yesterday.
Prosecutor John Reading SC suggested that Yeung, 53, exaggerated his gain in the investment and said the defendant had in fact lost HK$5 million.
The prosecution is arguing in the money laundering trial that Yeung grossly magnified his alleged earnings from stocks, gambling and property investments.
The court heard that Yeung's company, Rich Field (Asia Pacific), bought 16 flats and 24 car-park spaces in the Fanling project for about HK$75 million in April 1997 from the developer, Dragon Power Development.
Testifying in the witness box, Yeung said Rich Field sold the homes for HK$90 million.
"The contracted price between myself and the developer was HK$75,250,000," he said. "However, we sold [the properties] at HK$90,304,248."
The soccer club boss has been explaining to the court how he amassed wealth of up to HK$100 million in 2000 from running upmarket hair salons, property investments in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, and stock dealings.
He denies knowingly dealing with proceeds of indictable offences involving HK$721 million between January 2001 and December 2007.
Yeung came under repeated grilling by Reading for claiming Rich Field had made an overall profit of about HK$15 million.
The prosecution cited legal documents that showed the "ultimate buyers" of three of the flats and 10 car-park spaces were three companies owned by Yeung, a former hairdresser, at the time.
During the cross-examination, Yeung repeated his baffling answers: "I bought it for free. I gained it."
District Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong then interrupted the prosecutor's questioning and asked the defendant to clarify the "confusion".
"If Rich Field did not in fact receive HK$20.5 million from the three private companies [over the sale of the three flats and 10 car-park spaces], then the actual money received by Rich Field for the sale of the properties would only have been HK$70 million [instead of HK$90 million]," Yau said. "Then would it be the case that Rich Field made a loss?"
Yeung insisted he did not suffer any loss in the project.
It was not the first time the judge had asked Yeung to explain his "confusing" testimony.
On Tuesday, Yau asked Yeung to clarify claims about his earnings when he owned a chain of upmarket salons in the city.
The prosecution also examined Yeung's alleged earnings from gaming. Reading asked the defendant to explain why Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) issued four cash cheques to him four times on a single day.
SJM is a Macau casino operator founded by gambling mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun.
The prosecutor asked why he could not have played baccarat until the end of the day, and cashed in his chips at one go.
Yeung repeated his explanation: "Because there are four different junkets." Yeung's defence testimony had been expected to take five days, but he will testify for a sixth day today.