Police have launched an investigation into a bogus law firm that is suspected to have colluded with a financial intermediary to swindle money out of people seeking to refinance their mortgages.
The move came after authorities received a report Sunday that Lam, Fung & Lee Solicitors, a law firm located in Asia Standard Tower on Queen’s Road in Central, had never registered itself with the Law Society of Hong Kong, although the firm claimed that it has been in business for 15 years.
It was also found that none of the firm’s 11 solicitors was registered with the Law Society, and that three branches the company claimed to have in Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Kwai Chung did not exist at all, Apple Daily reported.
The Law Society has filed a police report on the matter.
Police raided the office of Lam, Fung & Lee in Central on Monday but found it empty except for a large amount of documents and some books.
Investigations suggested that the law firm had been cheating victims out of money by working with a financial intermediary.
A victim told news website hk01.com that an intermediary approached him in May, claiming it could help him get cheaper loans to refinance his mortgage.
Lured by the offer, he went to the law firm to sign contracts and documents. Then he was asked to write a check in the name of one of firm’s directors.
He found out later that a bank had approved him a loan worth HK$881,000, the same figure as in the check he was made to sign.
But when he went to the law firm to collect his money, he found it closed.
Suspecting that he was conned, he reported the matter to the police, who now believe that there may have been other victims in the loan fraud scheme.
A hunt is on for the people behind the bogus law firm.
According to a senior inspector, the law firm may have begun operations on May 11 and that it may have been operated by the same gang that ran the financial intermediary.
The officer urged citizens to be careful in choosing their financial intermediaries. A genuine law firm will never ask clients to make a payment in the name of any internal staff, the person pointed out.
According to the Legal Practitioners Ordinance, any person who makes false claims as a solicitor can face a fine of up to HK$500,000.
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