Ex-foreman gets nine months’ jail for bribery and fraud over employment of construction workers
A former foreman of a construction subcontractor, charged by the ICAC, was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts today (October 28) for soliciting and collecting illegal rebates and salary payments totaling about $36,000 from four workers recruited by him.
Cheung Hiu-fai, 60, former foreman of Leung Pui Form Mould & Engineering Company Limited (LPF), was earlier ordered by Principal Magistrate Ms Bina Chainrai to pay $17,725, which was equivalent to the illegal rebates involved, as restitution to LPF.
The defendant earlier pleaded guilty to six charges – one of fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance; one of agent soliciting an advantage and four of agent accepting an advantage, all contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a foreman of LPF, which was a formwork subcontractor. In May 2017, LPF was awarded a formwork project at a construction site in Western District. The defendant was assigned to recruit workers for the project.
In December 2017, the defendant recruited a worker at a daily wage of $1,250 for the project. The defendant told the worker that he was required to reimburse $250 per working day to LPF according to the company’s policy. The worker believed the defendant and worried that he would be dismissed if he did not do so.
Between December 2017 and May 2018, the worker deposited a total of over $14,000 for 56.5 working days and transferred another $4,000 to the personal bank account of the defendant.
The court heard that LPF had never requested or authorised the defendant to collect any salary payments from the worker.
In around March 2018, the defendant told another worker that he did not have sufficient work experience and solicited approximately $350 per working day from the latter. After working for 16 days, the worker quitted the job and paid about $5,000 to the defendant to avoid trouble.
The court also heard that the defendant further asked two other workers to pay him $150 per working day as rebates. Between February and May 2018, the defendant accepted a total of over $12,700 from the duo for securing their employment with LPF.
LPF had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Aliz Lo.