Three members of the same family were jailed for a total of 24 years yesterday for their part in a bank loan scam that exposed several banks to a potential total loss of $2.5 billion. Lee Kwok-yun, 69, his wife, Chan Chi-wah, 68, and their son, Li Chi, 47, showed no emotion as they were sentenced in the Court of First Instance. Chan and Li were found guilty by a jury on Wednesday of conspiracy to defraud. The charge cited a figure of $2.5 billion, even though no banks lost money. Lee had earlier pleaded guilty to 18 counts of false accounting involving up to $280 million. He also admitted a charge of conspiracy to defraud, which involved a different company and a US$14 million loss. Mr Justice Michael Lunn sentenced mother and son to 71/2 years in jail. Lee was jailed for nine years. The scam was discovered when Guang Xin Enterprises went into liquidation on October 12, 1998. An outside examination of the company's books by accountants KPMG found Guang Xin was owed $250 million by mainland company Wantong Steel Pipe. But Wantong denied the debt, leading liquidators to examine letters of credit used by Guang Xin. The transactions were fraudulent and involved obtaining money from banks under false pretences. The family were directors of Kwong Wah, one of the companies involved in selling steel piping to Guang Xin by using letters of credit.