The investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Cheung Hing-chik, 73, was entrusted by a couple residing outside Hong Kong to handle the business and financial affairs of two companies which respectively engaged in arts trading and securities investment.

He was the sole authorised signatory for bank accounts of the two companies but he was not permitted to dispose of any funds or securities of the two companies without consent from the couple.

The charges allege that between February 2016 and January 2020, Cheung stole a total of over US$1.25 million belonging to the two companies.

It is alleged that Cheung had on over 50 occasions transferred over US$1.25 million to his personal bank accounts without the consent of the couple.

The defendant faces two counts of theft. He was released on ICAC bail, pending his appearance in the Eastern Magistrates' Courts on Thursday for mention.