A 41-year-old man was sentenced to seven years and 10 months in prison after admitting in court that he stole HK$25 million worth of jewelries from his aunt’s shop over a period of three years to support his gambling habit.
Lee Kwok-hin, nephew of former Yan Chai Hospital chairwoman Christy Ng Ling-ling, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft while working as manager of Ng’s Emperor Jade Ltd. from 2011 to 2013, Headline Daily reported on Friday.
Lee stole 276 pieces of jewelry and pawned them for over HK$7 million.
He lost the money to gambling and went bankrupt after his debts snowballed.
The High Court judge chastised Lee for not cherishing the work his aunt gave him and for abusing her trust.
It was a serious crime that has resulted in substantial loss to Ng’s company, the judge said, noting that his aunt’s son had to buy back 69 pieces of jewelry from pawnshops for HK$1.5 million.
The defendant’s lawyer said Lee had been an upright man until his parents divorced in 2010. He said Lee only wanted to “borrow” the jewelries to recover his losses but the deficit spiralled.
Lee, who joined Emperor Jade in 2004, earlier claimed he only obtained HK$1 million from selling the jewelries, but police probers later found 79 pawnshop receipts for a combined amount of HK$7.7 million.
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