Property agent charged with bribery over rent concessions of boyfriend's shop

A property agent was charged by the ICAC with soliciting and accepting bribes totalling HK$41,000 for assisting her boyfriend who operated a claw machine shop to negotiate with the landlord for rent concessions and lease renewal during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chung Sau-man, former property agent of Land Master & Associates (Shop) Limited, faces three charges of agent accepting an advantage; one charge of agent soliciting for an advantage; and two charges of incitement to furnish false information.

Ng Chi-hung, the boyfriend of Chung, was also charged with one count of false accounting.

The alleged offences took place between July and October 2020. Chung was the handling property agent of a lease transaction in which a tenant rented a shop in Mong Kok for operating claw machine business at a monthly rental of HK$140,000 for a year starting from December 2019.

Because of the pandemic situation, the tenant had engaged Chung to assist in negotiations with the landlord on rent concessions since early 2020. The four bribery charges allege that Chung accepted three bribes totalling HK$21,000 and solicited another bribe of HK$20,000 from the tenant as an inducement to or reward for assisting him to negotiate with the landlord for reducing the monthly rental and renewing its lease.

Two other charges allege that Chung unlawfully incited the tenant to dishonestly furnish false information to its auditor on the operating expenditure incurred. It is alleged that the false receipts concerned were used to cover up bribe payments made to Chung.

The remaining charge alleges that Ng dishonestly falsified three of the above false receipts made for an accounting purpose.

The duo were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday for plea.