A solicitor's clerk fraudulently diverted more than $1.2 million from his company's clients to his friends' and sister-in-law's accounts, a court heard yesterday. Yeung Wing-keung, 39, presented his company, Howell & Lo Solicitors, with false documents and persuaded it to issue 21 cheques in favour of two friends and a relative, the District Court was told. Yeung pleaded guilty to 15 charges of using a false instrument before Judge Richard Hawkes yesterday. The Crown said Yeung had started working for the company in 1989. Last April, he wrote to his boss telling him he had stolen money from client accounts and lost it gambling. A report was made to police. Judge Hawkes heard that between April 7, 1995, and April 3 last year, the defendant had presented the firm's accounts clerks with demands for cheques, to be issued in favour of three people. The defendant claimed the money was either repayment of debt, ex-gratia or compensation. The money was later withdrawn from their accounts. The solicitor's firm had subsequently returned more than $1.26 million to the victims, the court heard. On November 22, Yeung surrendered to police. Under caution, he admitted the offences and said the names of the three on the cheques were his friends and sister-in-law. His sentence was adjourned for background reports.