The chairman of a Hong Kong-listed technology company has been jailed for four years for an accounting fraud that exaggerated the company's net profit fivefold. Global Trend Intelligent Technologies chairman Xu Peixin, 41, was also disqualified from being a company director for five years after being convicted on a joint charge of conspiracy to use false instruments. The company's executive director, Cai Yajuan, 47, was sentenced to jail for 31/2 years on the same charge and was disqualified from being a company director for four years. In passing sentence, district court judge Judianna Barnes Wai-ling said a message had to be sent to the public that commercial fraud would not be tolerated. Prosecutor Wong Po-wing said the company's net profit was only $8.7 million in 2002 but had been inflated to $43 million by the defendants in the company's annual report. Global Trend's turnover was reported as $212 million but was later discovered to be only $116 million, Mr Wong said. 'Hong Kong is a financial centre with a free market ... so the crimes committed by the defendants should not be overlooked,' Judge Barnes said. 'The defence lawyers claimed that there was no evidence showing that the act of the defendants had resulted in any actual losses to the investors. However, the company's shareholders or the members of the public might have suffered financial losses after they relied on the financial report produced by the defendants,' the judge said. 'Both defendants and their accomplices were producing a massive amount of fraudulent documents. The crimes committed by them were very serious. Xu, who was both the chairman and the major shareholder of the company, would be the major beneficiary of the fraud.' Global Trend is a provider of hardware and software for intelligent buildings. Trading in the company's shares has been suspended since September last year.