Former Birmingham City Football Club boss Carson Yeung Ka-sing was on Monday ordered to pay Hong Kong prosecutors HK$338 million (US$43.2 million) worth of crime proceeds in the next 12 months or serve 10 more years in prison.
Prosecutors had applied to confiscate all HK$721 million involved in the high-profile money laundering case that landed Yeung, 58, a six-year prison sentence in March 2014.
But on Monday they agreed with his lawyers Robert Lee SC and Peter Pannu to a consent order for him to pay less than half of the demanded sum.
District judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong’s order came a month before Yeung’s expected release from maximum-security Stanley Prison in mid-January.
The same judge had convicted and jailed the hairdresser-turned-businessman on five charges of laundering HK$721 million using five bank accounts at Wing Lung Bank and HSBC between 2001 and 2007.
His trial heard various parties, including securities firms and a Macau casino, made 963 deposits into the accounts, many for no apparent reason.
They included some 440 deposits, totalling more than HK$97 million, made in cash.
Yeung testified at trial that the money in his accounts came from legitimate sources, including his share dealings and casino winnings.
But Yau rejected his explanation and concluded that Yeung had reasonable grounds to believe that the money in those five accounts were the proceeds of an indictable offence.
In sentencing, Yau said a stiff prison term was needed to serve as a deterrent and send a message to those who exploited the system that “the law will come down on them with full force”.
Yeung later appealed all the way to the Court of Final Appeal, but failed to clear his name.
Relatively unknown before his emergence on the English soccer scene, Yeung took control of Birmingham City in 2008 in a HK$237 million takeover.
He quit all his posts in the club’s holding company in February 2014.
Author: Jasmine Siu