Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, former chairman of the now-defunct Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) was declared bankrupt by a local court on Wednesday with debts amounting to more than HK$110 million (US$14.19 million).
The bankruptcy petition in the High Court was filed by Leung Chee-hon, a former non-executive director of Sunley Holdings, which is now known as CNQC International Holdings.
Leung said in a writ that Cheung, 57, who was once an executive councilor and chairman of Hong Kong’s Urban Renewal Authority, had owed him HK$47.26 million but repaid only HK$3 million last June, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of another creditor, Fully Field, that supported the case along with Sinomax Finance, told the court that Cheung owed Fully Field HK$72.8 million.
Cheung did not appear in court and did not have a lawyer representing him.
A court official justified the bankruptcy ruling, saying that the court had ordered Cheung to repay the debts in 2013 but he had failed to do so. Also Cheung did not submit any affidavit in advance saying that he opposed the bankruptcy petition.
According to the Bankruptcy Ordinance, a person who is declared bankrupt must hand over all assets to a trustee immediately upon the passing of a bankruptcy order. The trustee will then distribute whatever is possible to the creditors.
A person who has been declared bankrupt cannot practice certain professions, including law. He also cannot act as an estate agent, securities dealer or serve as director of a limited company.
The person will be automatically discharged from bankruptcy four years from the date of the Bankruptcy Order provided that there is no objection from the creditors or the Trustee.
Cheung will, meanwhile, face sentencing by a Kowloon City Magistrates’ court on April 20 after he admitted to the court last month that he failed to pay nearly HK$340,000 (US$43,842) in wages to a former employee of HKMEx.
He could face up to three years in jail and a fine of HK$350,000.
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