Jockey Club credit card thefts land worker in jail

Shirley Lau

An 'outstanding' Red Cross volunteer was sentenced to 12 months' jail yesterday for stealing credit cards from four Jockey Club colleagues to help pay debts.

Ho Chi-keung, 32, a computer system administrator at the club, stole five cards from colleagues' desks between January and June, Eastern Court heard.

He withdrew nearly $40,000 cash using two of the stolen cards and bought a gold coin for $2,650 from a goldsmith in April using another credit card, the court was told.

But an attempt to buy coins from a different shop was foiled when he failed to produce his identity card when asked to. He was arrested by police on June 24.

Ho, described as an outstanding Red Cross volunteer by his defence lawyer - he served the organisation for 17 years - became addicted to horse-racing after he started working for the club in 1991, the court heard.

He got into debt and owed money to loansharks.

He pleaded guilty to six counts of theft, one of obtaining property by deception and one of attempting to obtain property by deception.

Magistrate Ian Candy gave him a concurrent sentence of 12 months.