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District Councillor gets Deferred Jail Term over Mortgage Fraud

scmp.com | December 9, 2013

By Julie Chu

A district councillor who used false documents to obtain HK$6.6 million in mortgages was given a 21-month prison term, suspended for two years, by the District Court yesterday.

Islands District councillor Lam Yuet, 36, the main shareholder and director of Mix Media, admitted during his trial last month that he had used a forged letter to claim he was an employee of the company rather than its director when he applied for two mortgages with Hang Seng Bank in March and April last year.

Lam said he had hidden his shareholdings and tried to convince the bank that he received a regular salary, believing it would make it easier to secure the mortgages.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining an advantage by deception, and was found guilty on November 4.

But in sentencing yesterday, Judge Josiah Lam Wai-kuen noted that Lam had shown his bank passbook stating other income when applying for the mortgages, but bank staff had failed to notice it and "recklessly" granted him the mortgages.

The judge also said the case was different from other fraud cases because the bank ultimately retained ownership of the properties.

"I accepted Lam was too confused after the election and did something out of character," the judge said. He also took into account that Lam had bought the two flats for his family. If Lam were sent to jail, his wife could not bear the cost of maintaining the loans and Lam's four-year-old daughter and elderly parents could find themselves homeless.

The judge suspended the sentence, saying Lam had not committed the offence as a public officer.

Lam said later he respected the court's decision and knew he would lose his council seat.

"I have to thank God that I am still a free man," he said.

The court heard Lam established Mix Media in 2007. When he applied for the mortgages last year, he claimed he was a senior marketing manager.

The bank later discovered the signature of a director on the letter had been forged.

Lam told police he had feared the bank would not accept that the payments and subsidies he received as a councillor were proof of an income and so would reject his applications.

Lawyer Bernard Chung said his client bought one flat for his wife, children and father, and the other for his mother, who had divorced his father.

He then mortgaged the properties to another bank and repaid Hang Seng Bank.

Chung said Lam's financial situation meant he could have secured the mortgages without committing the crime.


Back to December 2013 Archive

CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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