A building surveyor with the former Buildings and Lands Department yesterday admitted swindling the government out of almost $200,000 in rental allowance. Cheng Chi-leung, 48, pleaded guilty in the District Court to one charge of using a document with intent to deceive on March 2, 1990. He submitted an application for private tenancy for a Taikoo Shing flat by falsely claiming that neither he nor his family members owned or had any financial interest in the property. Between February 12, 1990, and June 9, 1991, the government granted him rental allowance of $196,725. The court heard Cheng initially signed as the purchaser of the Taikoo Shing flat for $1.69 million in November 1989, but he later asked a colleague to sign as being the purchaser on the sales agreement. In January 1990, Cheng made further arrangements to set up a shelf company to register as the owner of the flat and he also asked two friends to become directors and shareholders of the company. Cheng claimed in the March rental application that the property was not owned by himself or his family. But the prosecution said he was the beneficial owner of the property. Judge David Gill adjourned sentencing until Monday.