A restaurateur paid thousands of dollars to a government health officer in return for tip-offs as to when his premises were to be inspected, a court heard yesterday. Lau Cho-man, 45, gave $24,000 to Urban Services Department officer Lee Hon-sun in exchange for five advance warnings. Judge Chua Fi-lan, of the District Court, said Lau had become trapped in a web of corruption spun by Lee. She sentenced Lau to 11 months' jail, suspended for two years, after finding him guilty of offering advantages to a public servant. He had denied the charge. 'Lee was greedy to add one more vulnerable restaurant to his corrupt web,' said the judge. The senior health inspector found out from records that Lau's Fuji restaurant in Kwun Tong had been prosecuted twice for poor hygiene. A third prosecution could have led to the suspension of his licence and the possible loss of his life savings. Lee approached the restaurant in the middle of 1994 and suggested it should pay him and his colleagues 'fun' expenses, amounting to $6,000 every three months. Lau paid four times until April 1995, when Lee was transferred to another district. During the period, Lau had to buy vegetables and seafood from Lee's relatives. Lau was arrested after the completion of an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation. Judge Chua said the case had opened her eyes to graft. Lee, his boss Yu Ka-foo and colleagues would go to restaurants and pay $300 for dinners worth $5,000. In January last year, Lee, now 45, was sentenced to 15 months' jail after admitting a charge of conspiracy to accept advantages. Other charges against him were put on file due to his co-operation as a witness. Former chief health inspector Yu, also 45, pocketed about $1 million, the proceeds of a scam that extended as far afield as Kwun Tong, Kowloon City, Sheung Shui, To Kwa Wan and Lei Yue Mun.