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Man jailed for fraud on Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund

     A 46-year-old man was jailed for three years upon conviction of fraud at District Court today (August 23).

     The court heard that the man and his 39-year-old wife had operated six Chinese restaurants in Sham Shui Po and Kowloon City between 2001 and 2008. Shortly after one restaurant was closed down, they opened a new one at the original premises using the same equipment under a different company title.  Outstanding wages for the former employees were defaulted.  These employees then sought relief from the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund (PWIF) for unpaid wages and termination compensation.

     By concealing the assets from those previous companies during the winding-up process, the duo was able to deny the attending liquidators knowledge of and access to any residual assets, which could have been applied to redress company creditors including the PWIF.

     Police received the referral from the Labour Department.  After extensive investigations, officers of the Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) arrested and subsequently charged the duo.  The man was convicted for one count of Fraud and the three-year sentence was handed down today.  In addition, a Disqualification Order prohibiting company directorship for five years against him was also made while his wife was acquitted.

     The PWIF is established to provide a safety net for employees who are affected by business closures of their insolvent employers.  To protect the PWIF from being abused, an inter-departmental Task Force comprising representatives of the Labour Department, CCB, the Official Receiverˇ¦s Office and the Legal Aid Department has been formed to take concerted actions against cases of suspected abuse of the PWIF.

Police Report No. 181

Ends/Thursday, August 23, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:00


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