A truck parking fees scam has landed former logistics supervisor Chow Chi-yeung, 42, of Hong Kong, with 160 hours of community service. The sentence was imposed on Chow by the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court.
Chow, formerly employed by Extrans International (HK) was convicted on a charge of fraud after he lied to his employer that HK$62,200 ($792) of service fees on 31 delivery notes in September 2018 were genuinely incurred.
Facts of the case
According to a statement of facts from the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court, Extrans International was engaged in providing cross-border trucking services. Extrans sub-contracted its customer orders to various transport service providers.
Sub-contractors were required to list all incurred expenses, including parking fees and an overtime allowance, on a delivery note and then submit them to Extrans. Chow and another employee were responsible for checking and processing the delivery notes and carrying out data processing. Chow had also been helping the sub-contractors to prepare monthly invoices for submission to Extrans. Delivery notes, invoices and other records would eventually be forwarded to the manager of Extrans for approval.
In or about October 2018, Chow claimed to have discovered some mistakes in the computer system and asked to use another employee’s account so that he could log on to make amendments. Chow also claimed that there would be an audit check and he asked the other employee to provide him with all the delivery notes and supporting documents.
That other employee later discovered that the records she had put on the computer had been altered. When she made the original entries, the parking fee was $120 each and there was no overtime allowance.
In mid-October, Chow submitted the altered delivery notes and monthly invoices for payment to the accounts department of Extrans, which then made a payment, including the inflated trucking fees, of just over HK$404,000. However, the fraud was detected – although the statement of facts does not explain how – and Chow was arrested by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Under caution, Chow admitted that he had inflated the parking fee by HK$200 on each of the delivery notes. He said that the purpose of inflating the delivery notes was to compensate one of the sub-contractors for overtime work performed on the orders of Extrans but for which the company had refused to pay an overtime allowance.
The sub-contractor was also arrested.