A former bank worker who returned to Hong Kong after spending millions of dollars during nine years on the run in America was jailed for 4.5 years yesterday. Joseph Chow Chun-hung, 39, worked at the now-defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) branch in Shenzhen before swindling a bank client out of US$1.3 million (HK$10.4 million) in December 1988. Accomplice Wallace Liu Kwok-kwong was arrested in New Zealand, extradited and jailed for four years in 1991. He has now served his time. Chow admitted six charges of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception, three of theft and two of procuring the making of an entry in a bank's record by deception. Prosecutor Richard Donald said Chow was a supervisor in the customer accounts section at the BCCI Shenzhen branch where Mr Liu was a foreign exchange supervisor. Nonfemet Finance Shenzhen Company placed US$850,000 on December 14, 1988, and US$450,000 on December 31 into the branch as fixed deposits. But the US$1.3 million was then transferred to the bank account of a Hong Kong shell company called Yorkville Limited set up by Chow and Mr Liu. Both men then withdrew the cash from the Yorkville accounts and fled Hong Kong on January 9, 1989, before the time deposits matured and the company found its money missing, the District Court heard. Chow, who worked for BCCI for 10 years, needed the cash to make up for stock market losses. Deputy Judge Julia Livesey said Chow's lack of funds and inability to support himself in the US forced him to return. He was arrested at the airport.