A former senior executive from the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) and an IPO consultant face charges for alleged bribery and misconduct in public office (MIPO) involving a total of HK$9.15 million (US$1.17 million), said the The Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) earlier today.
Eugene Yeoh Kim-loong, 43, former joint-head of the IPO vetting team of the listing department of the HKEX, faces two charges – one of public servant accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 4(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO); and one of MIPO, contrary to Common Law.
Richard Lum Chor-wah, 60, IPO consultant, faces one count of offering an advantage to a public servant, contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the POBO.
The case arose from a corruption complaint referred by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), according to ICAC, adding that the defendants will be brought to the West Kowloon Magistracy this morning for mention.
At the material time, Yeoh was one of the two joint-heads overseeing the IPO vetting team of the HKEX’s listing department, ICAC noted.
He was responsible for vetting IPO applications for compliance with the Listing Rules and the Companies Ordinance, and endorsing recommendations of approval or rejection before those IPO applications were tabled to the Listing Committee or GEM Listing Approval Group, ICAC added.
Lum was an IPO consultant providing advice and assistance to companies who intended to make IPO applications, according to ICAC.
The charge alleges that between June 20, 2017 and April 30, 2019, Yeoh, being a public official, wilfully misconducted himself in the course of or in relation to his public office, without reasonable excuse or justification, the commission noted.
Yeoh has allegedly concealed from or failed to declare or disclose to the HKEX the transfer of a total sum of HK$9.15 million (US$1.17 million) from Lum to Yeoh’s wife, the commission added.
In addition, Yeoh has allegedly failed to declare a conflict of interest in connection with his handling and processing of various IPO applications in which Lum participated, besides his failure in abstaining from the deliberation and decision making in respect of those IPO applications, ICAC said.
One of the bribery charges alleges that on or about December 21, 2017, Yeoh accepted from Lum a sum of HK$2 million (US$257,914), without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, as an inducement to or reward for being or remaining favourably disposed to the IPO application of Shen You Holdings Limited (8377.HK).
The other bribery charge alleges that on or about December 21, 2017, Lum offered the above mentioned $2 million (US$257,914) to Yeoh for the same purpose without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.