Hong Kong's Eastern Magistrates’ Court has convicted Mr Lau Tin Yau, at the instigation of the Securities and Futures Commission, for offences under the Securities and Futures Ordinance that arose from his licence applications to the SFC.
Lau, who pled guilty to all the charges against him, was fined HK$36,000 (US$4,595) and ordered to pay the SFC’s investigative costs.
The SFC told the court that Lau made two applications for licences from it in August 2017 in which he did not say that he was subject to investigations by other regulatory or criminal investigatory bodies.
After becoming an SFC licensed individual, Lau submitted an annual licensing return to the SFC in March 2018 and declared that there was no change in the information he had previously sent it, including information pertaining to investigations, when in fact he had been charged with a criminal offence and was still under investigations during the relevant reporting period between 26 September 2017 and 28 February 2018.
Lau also failed to tell the SFC (within seven business days) about events related to criminal and disciplinary proceedings against him. Section 135(3) of the SFO and section 4 of the Securities and Futures (Licensing and Registration) (Information) Rules require all licensees to give the SFC notice in writing of changes in information previously provided to the SFC within seven business days of the change. If not, there must be a reasonable excuse.
Lau was charged with a criminal offence on 5 January 2018 after which he was engaged in criminal proceedings from 9 January 2018 to 21 May 2018. He was convicted of a criminal offence on 8 May 2018 and became the subject of a disciplinary action by an unnamed regulatory body on 5 December 2018.