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Hong Kong billionaire Thomas Kwok convicted of bribery

Kwok Ping-kwong, ThomasThomas Kwok, one of Asia’s richest men, was convicted Friday of conspiring to bribe Hong Kong’s former number two official.

The nine-member jury deliberated five days after a four-month trial.

Kwok, 63, was found guilty of paying Rafael Hui $1.1 million to gain  favorable government treatment for his real estate company. Hui took the money shortly before taking his post as Hong Kong’s chief secretary. He didn’t disclose the payment on his official asset declaration.

Kwok and his younger brother Raymond are co-chairs of Sun Hung Kai Properties, the biggest real estate company in Hong Kong.

Raymond, 61, was arrested with his brother in March 2012. He was acquitted Friday of all charges.

The Kwok brothers are each worth about $10 billion.

Hui, 66, was convicted of five charges including conspiracy to accept bribes while in office.

He’s the highest Hong Kong official to be convicted of corruption. He said he went into debt to maintain a lavish lifestyle that included a luxury apartment in Hong Kong, one of the world’s most expensive cities, and a mistress in Shanghai.

Kwok will be sentenced Monday. He’s in custody until then.

The jury Friday also convicted two middlemen who helped pass money to Hui.

Thomas Chan and Francis Kwan were found guilty of conspiracy charges. They were both described as loyal employees who had worked for Thomas Kwok for 40 years.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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