Duo in $142,000 wages exploitation scam each jailed for four months


A former site supervisor (D1) and a former general worker (D2) of a metal works company (Company A), charged by the ICAC, were today (October 26) each sentenced to four months’ imprisonment at the Eastern Magistracy for conspiracy to accept illegal wage rebates of over $142,000 in total from four other workers in relation to their employment at various construction sites.

D1, 46, and D2, 29, earlier pleaded guilty to four joint charges of conspiracy for an agent to accept an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.

In sentencing, Deputy Magistrate Mr Winston Leung Wing-chung said the court must not tolerate the corrupt acts of the defendants as they were serious in nature.

The deputy magistrate also ordered the defendants to pay over $142,000, or over $71,000 each, being the illegal wage rebates shared among themselves, as restitution to Company A.

The court heard that at the material time, D1 was employed by Company A as a site supervisor to recruit general workers for Company A and two other companies (the three companies) to work at 10 construction sites. The three companies, which were set up by the same proprietor, were contractors specialising in metal works.

In December 2014, D1 introduced D2 to work for two of the three companies, including Company A, as a general worker.

Upon D1’s introduction, three other persons started to work as general workers at various construction sites. At the end of each month, they were required to report their actual number of working days to D2, who would provide the records to D1.

D1 told the three general workers that they had to refund part of their wages to D1’s supervisor as it was a trade practice. Believing that their employment would be terminated if they did not do so, the trio respectively paid $40,075, $24,650 and $18,050 to D1 between April and December 2015.

The court also heard that D2 asked another general worker who he introduced to work at various construction sites to refund part of his wages to D1.

Between April and November 2015, that general worker paid $59,380 to D1 as he believed that if his did not do so, D2 would not have introduced him to the job.

Company A had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.

The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Marco Li, assisted by ICAC officer Chacha Chan.
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