A mother of three was handed a 24-month probation order by a Hong Kong court after she was found guilty of using fake credentials to secure the top job at a local firm and reap monetary benefits.
Judge Josiah Lam Wai-kuen said on Wednesday that the defendant, a 43-year-old named Lee lam, deserves to be punished for cheating her employer, Shizhu International Education Management Corp.
However, he said he has decided to suspend a 13-month jail term for the woman in view of the special circumstances surrounding her family.
The family members shouldn’t bear hardship because of Lee and be punished together for her wrongdoing, the judge said, according to news website hk01.com.
All of Lee’s three children suffer from various ailments, and the mother herself was also diagnosed with postpartum depression.
As the woman’s father — which is sick himself — and her husband will have to raise the children on their own if Lee is jailed, the judge said it is a special case that warrants probation.
In March, Lee was found guilty of obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception, after being charged with faking her educational background and work experience to secure the CEO post at Shizhu International.
The district court heard that Lee applied for the top job in 2010, claiming that she had a master’s degree and that she had worked for 10 years as sales and marketing director at a firm named Easy Carry Ltd.
She also provided a letter of recommendation, which also turned to be fake, to get the CEO job.
Shizu International later found her performance unsatisfactory and launched an investigation into her background.
It decided to fire her in 2011 but did not do so until early 2012, delaying the sacking due to Lee’s pregnancy and health problems.
By the time she was eventually asked to go, Lee had pocketed HK$870,000 (US$112,168) in total in remuneration from the company.
Asking for leniency, the defense lawyer argued that Lee’s children suffer from different kinds of diseases and that the mother also has some problems.
The judge agreed that it is a special case and that he is sparing jail for Lee by passing a probation order.
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