Hong Kong jewelry magnate Tse Sui-luen was sentenced to three years and three months in jail today for tax fraud and offering illegal advantages, China News Service reported today.
Tse, who founded the Tse Sui Luen Jewelry chain, was found guilty of defrauding Hong Kong tax authorities, falsification of accounts and giving commissions to tour agents. The agents cajoled consumers from the Chinese mainland into TSL showrooms and overcharged them, the report said.
The 71-year-old billionaire along with his son Tommy Tse conspired to steal millions of dollars from the company, the report said.
Tommy Tse, 40, was sentenced to five years in prison on similar charges.
The judge commuted Tse's penalty given his heart disease and "mental health state."
The company's scheme to offer kickbacks, which was dubbed the "James Bond Project," paid HK$100 million (US$12.8 million) to tour agents through offshore companies between 1996 and 2005.
The judge said evidence showed that the Tses were aware of the scheme and that Tommy Tse, chairman of TSL since 2001, had implemented the project with others.
Three others conspiring with the Tses were given terms ranging from three years and nine months to four years and three months, the report said.
(Shanghai Daily May 9, 2008)