HK charges Kimberley Hotel owner in $36 million fraud on China's biggest lender

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's anti-corruption body has charged a hotel owner with defrauding China's biggest lender by assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, of loans totalling HK$200 million (US$25.8 million or S$36.2 million).

Lau Hei-wing, 59, the owner of the Kimberley Hotel, faces three counts of fraud for making false statements to the bank's Hong Kong unit to get loans to renovate the hotel, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said late on Thursday.

In a statement, it said Lau "allegedly induced ICBC to release the three sums of money," between February and April 2010 by falsely claiming the money would be used exclusively for the renovation.

It gave no details of how Lau might have defrauded the bank, nor of where the funds are now.

Lau could not be reached for comment, and a manager at the Kimberley Hotel declined to comment on the case.

ICBC, the Hong Kong subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lau was released on bail pending a court appearance.