Ex-secondary school teacher jailed for breaching anti-bribery law and theft involving $5.3m over renovation projects

2021-9-15


A former teacher of a government-aided secondary school, charged by the ICAC, was today (September 15) sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment at the District Court after pleading guilty to multiple offences under the anti-bribery law, theft and using copies of false instruments in deceiving the school of payments totalling $5.3 million in relation to 14 school facility renovation projects.

Chiang Yi-hing, 39, former teacher of Leung Shek Chee College, pleaded guilty to a total of 18 charges—10 of agent using a document with intent to deceive his principal, contrary to Section 9(3) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance; five of theft, contrary to Section 9 of the Theft Ordinance; and three of using a copy of a false instrument, contrary to Section 74 of the Crimes Ordinance.

In sentencing, Judge Mr Stanley Chan Kwong-chi said the deeds of the defendant constituted a breach of trust. He set up four companies with a view to defraud and abused his position and the trust placed on him by the school to commit various offences.

The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above offences which took place between May 2016 and March 2020.

At the material time, the defendant was a teacher of a government-aided secondary school—Leung Shek Chee College (the school). In September 2015, the school set up a committee to handle various school facility renovation projects. The defendant, who was a member of the committee, was responsible for contacting potential contractors to obtain quotations and inviting tenders for those projects.

The court heard that the defendant had used five declarations of conflict of interest to mislead the school when he handled five projects in relation to the setting up of a history gallery, installation of classroom whiteboards, and replacement of LED tubes and 2,000 student chairs. The total contract sum of those projects was about $590,000.

The defendant falsely declared that there was no existing or potential conflict of interest situation arising from his discharging of duties concerning the procurement of stores and services of the school relating to those projects.

When handling five other projects involving the renovation of a chapel and supply and installation of aluminium sheets, classroom blinds and LED tubes, the defendant further used a set of tender summary and approval record and four sets of written quotation summary and approval record to mislead the school.

The five sets of documents contained false statements that the defendant did not have any direct or indirect financial interest in any company or organisation involved in the procurement exercise for those projects with a total contract sum of about $690,000.

The court also heard that the defendant had used a copy of a quotation purportedly accepted by the school to induce a furniture company proprietor to accept it as a copy of a genuine instrument. The quotation concerned the supply and installation of 56 sets of desks for the staff room and involved payment of about $290,000.

ICAC enquiries revealed that the defendant had set up four companies and submitted quotations to the school in relation to the aforesaid 11 projects. Contracts of eight of the projects were eventually awarded to the four companies.

In addition, the defendant stole from the school over $3.7 million, being payments for three other projects—two under the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS) and one for window repair, the contracts of which were awarded to two contractors frequently engaged by the school.

On the two projects under the MBIS, the defendant further used a copy of a letter purportedly issued by the principal of the school and a copy of a payment certificate purportedly issued by a project consultant to respectively induce a decoration company proprietor and a staff member of the school to accept them as copies of genuine instruments.

Leung Shek Chee College had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Antony Leung, assisted by ICAC officers Anthony Chan and Stanley Sizto.

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