Lee Ting-jen


Before: H H Judge Yung

Date: 29 July 2009 at 4.06 pm

Present: Mr Graeme A Mackay, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Cheng Huan, SC, and Mr Francis Cheng, instructed by S Y Chu & Co., for the defendant

Offence: (1) to (25) Using a copy of a false instrument (使用虛假文書的副本)


Reasons for Sentence


1. You have been convicted of a serious offence because they struck at the root and the essentials of the commercial credit system,and because of this, an immediate custodial sentence is inevitable.

2. The so-called aggravating factors or the factors which determine how serious, how long a prison term you should serve would includethe amount of money involved, period that these offences covered and the method you used.

3. Your counsel has referred a number of cases to me which I can use as a reference to determine how serious the offences are in termsof a proper prison term. As far as the monetary value is concerned, it involves millions of dollars. The banks stood to risk theloss of $6 million or thereabouts.

4. Your counsel has referred me to a case involving breach of trust. Of course your case is not of the same class, but it does notmean that it is not serious. But as far as monetary term is concerned, the guideline for those cases would be something between 5to 9 years. But the guideline is not, as your counsel has pointed out, not entirely appropriate.

5. And I also took into account another case, in particular, one which involved obtaining property by deception, also involving a numberof charges. The Court of Appeal indicated a starting point of 5 years as a global staring point is appropriate for a not-guilty plea.

6. Now I come to the mitigating factors. I accepted what your counsel has said. Although you may be dishonest in your means, the predominantmotive is not to cause loss to the bank. I would have thought you may be the victim of circumstances. The abolition of the quotasystem affected your textile business. Foolish enough you used dishonest means to obtain extra finances to tide yourself over. Unlikethe defendants in those cases I have referred to, those defendants had started out to deceive their victims from the very beginning,intending to cause them losses.

7. I accepted that if it was not for the earthquake in Sichuan, you might be able to repay the bank. And I also accepted that you hadbeen a good employer. And taking all that I have mentioned into account in addition to your personal circumstances, in particularyour critically ill girl, I think I can be as lenient as possible. I think a global starting point for all these charges should beone of 4 years and you are entitled to one-third remission.

8. I also accepted your counsel’s submission that you fully operated with the Commercial Crimes Bureau. If you fully co-operate withthe court, you are entitled to one-third remission automatically irrespective the total lack of mitigating circumstances. I do notsee why I should not give you an extra remission for full co-operation with the police because I cannot see any logic, if the court’shands are tied, you must give one-third remission, I do not see why a person is not given some further remission even as a tokenmeasure. These commercial cases are very complicated if the defendant chose to be difficult. And in the case which has been referredto me by your counsel, the court does give some credit to a defendant who does not require full proof from the prosecution althoughhe or she did not plead guilty.

9. I give you two more months after the one-third remission. So in simple arithmetic, for each charge, I will sentence you – to 30months, each charge, to run concurrently.

H H Judge Yung
District Judge