Suspects in ICAC investigations into two firms are accused of falsifying figures Court trials will begin today for seven people charged with fraud involving two listed companies. An Independent Commission against Corruption graft inquiry into the seven helped accelerate moves to tighten regulation of accountants and listing sponsors over the past two years. Four officers at publicly traded electronic circuit board maker Fu Cheong International are charged with conspiring with others to defraud the Hong Kong stock exchange by submitting falsified company records that inflated turnover and profits in the three years to 2000, the ICAC said in a statement yesterday. Fu Cheong chairman Ho Wing-cheong, former financial controller Albert Chan Wing-hui, certified public accountant Li Wing-kei and former director Kwok Shuk-wah face a total of four counts of conspiracy to defraud between 1998 and 2002, involving more than $89 million. The four are also accused of conspiracy to defraud shareholders, investors and creditors of Fu Cheong and its subsidiaries as well as the stock exchange by misrepresenting the company's financial figures in the 2001 annual report. Ho alone faces one count of conspiring with others to defraud banks 'by dishonestly causing a subsidiary of publicly listed Yue Fung International to apply for letters of credit and trust receipts in favour of a subsidiary and an associated company of Fu Cheong'. The companies are said to have submitted false documents to the banks, leading them to release letters of credit worth more than $88 million to Fu Cheong and connected companies. In a separate case, Lee Wing-kan, former chairman of digital camera maker Yue Fung, former vice-chairman Lee Wing-chan and former company clerk Chu Mei-yee face three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud amounting to $174 million between 1998 and 2002. One charge alleges that they conspired to defraud a number of banks of more than $88 million under letters of credit and trust receipts. The two Lees are also charged with two similar offences involving about $86 million. All seven defendants are to appear in the Eastern Magistracy today. Separately, solicitor Wong Pui-fai will appear in the same court to face charges for perverting the course of public justice. Mr Wong allegedly frustrated a Securities and Futures Commission probe last year into suspected stock price rigging of Shanghai Land Holdings, the listed vehicle of imprisoned mainland property tycoon Chau Ching-ngai, the ICAC said. Mr Wong, Chau's wife Mo Yuk-ping and three others are accused of lying to the SFC about trades in Shanghai Land shares made under false identities.