Ex-employees of restaurant chain jailed for bribery and fraud
Two former employees of a Japanese fast food restaurant chain, charged by the ICAC, were today (September 11) sentenced to jail terms up to eight months in separate cases at the Tuen Mun Magistracy for offering and accepting $24,000 in bribes respectively, and conspiracy to defraud the restaurant chain of sales revenue amounting to at least $52,000.
Law Kim-ching, 54, former senior store manager of Yoshinoya Fast Food (Hong Kong) Limited (Yoshinoya), received a jail term of eight months, while Wong Ka-chun, 27, former supervisor of Yoshinoya, was jailed for four months.
In sentencing, Acting Principal Magistrate Miss Ivy Chui Yee-mei said the court had to mete out immediate custodial sentences to the defendants as corruption was a serious offence. A heavier penalty was imposed on Law in view of his mastermind role in the scam, which was assisted by Wong Ka-chun.
The acting principal magistrate also ordered Law and Wong Ka-chun to pay $52,000 as compensation and repay $24,000 as restitution to Yoshinoya respectively.
Law earlier pleaded guilty to two charges – one of offering advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO), and one of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.
In another case, Wong Ka-chun earlier admitted two charges – one of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the POBO, and one of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.
The court heard that at the material time, Law was a senior store manager of Yoshinoya. He was tasked to manage four branches, including Tin Shui Branch and Wan Tau Tong Branch.
Wong Ka-chun and Wong Nga-yan were then supervisor and then assistant store manager at Tin Shui Branch of Yoshinoya respectively. They were both under the supervision of Law.
In July 2015, Wong Ka-chun discovered that Wong Nga-yan was producing inaccurate sales records at Tin Shui Branch by deliberately omitting entries of meal orders into its cashier computer system. Upon his enquiry, Wong Nga-yan told him that the malpractice was carried out to level the average daily turnover.
Later in July 2015, Law approached Wong Ka-chun for assisting in restraining the daily turnover at Tin Shui Branch. Since August 2015, Wong Ka-chun had assisted Law and Wong Nga-yan in doing so.
The court heard that Law and Wong Nga-yan asked Wong Ka-chun to produce more inaccurate sales records to subsidise Wan Tau Tong Branch’s low sales revenue in September and December 2015 respectively.
As a result, Yoshinoya suffered a loss of at least $52,000 in sales revenue between August 2015 and February 2016.
To reward Wong Ka-chun for his assistance in producing inaccurate sales records, Law gave about $3,000 to $4,000 each month, totalling about $24,000, to him between September 2015 and February 2016. Wong Ka-chun accepted those bribes accordingly, the court was told.
Wong Nga-yan, 25, who was also charged by the ICAC for her role in the scam, was last Friday (September 8) found guilty of two charges – one of agent accepting an advantage, and one of conspiracy to defraud jointly charged with Law. She was remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department until September 22 this year for sentence.
Yoshinoya had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.
The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Gary Tam.