23rd November 2023 – (Hong Kong) In a recent legal development, a married couple and their close acquaintance are facing charges of fabricating injuries sustained in traffic accidents between July 2020 and July 2022. The trio allegedly defrauded the Social Welfare Department by falsely claiming accident-related injuries and receiving approximately HK$600,000 in traffic accident compensation. Additionally, they are accused of deceiving five insurance companies into granting medical compensation amounting to over HK$310,000 for the wife’s alleged injuries. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) thoroughly investigated the case and discovered that the three individuals had submitted fraudulent medical certificates, falsely declared no employment income, and made no other claims related to the reported accidents. Moreover, one of the reported accidents was found to be entirely fabricated.
The ICAC has formally charged the trio with fraud and conspiracy to defraud. The cases will be presented in two separate hearings at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts, scheduled for the upcoming days. Fortunately for the defendants, they have been granted bail by the ICAC. The Social Welfare Department has emphasized its commitment to scrutinising all applications thoroughly to prevent similar fraudulent activities in the future.
The defendants have been identified as Chuang Siu-fong, a 40-year-old beauty consultant, her husband Yeung Ping-wai, a 41-year-old part-time chef, and Chan Hok-yan, a 44-year-old unemployed individual and partner of Chuang’s sister. The charges against them include a total of four counts of fraud, in violation of Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance. Chuang Siu-fong and Chan Hok-yan face an additional six counts of conspiracy to defraud, which contravenes common law.
The first case involves the fraudulent acquisition of traffic accident compensation from the Social Welfare Department. The three defendants allegedly claimed injuries resulting from three separate traffic accidents, deceitfully asserting the veracity of all information provided on their accident compensation applications. They also obtained relevant medical certificates following the accidents, intending to deceive the department into approving four separate claims, totalling approximately HK$600,000 in compensation.
The second case involves insurance fraud regarding medical compensation. At the time of the offences, Chuang Siu-fong was employed and had group medical insurance coverage from AIA International Limited. Additionally, she privately purchased multiple medical and accident insurance policies from AIA International Limited, Cigna Worldwide General Insurance Company Limited, Prudential Hong Kong Limited, FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited, and MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited. Chuang Siu-fong and Chan Hok-yan are accused of conspiring to defraud these five insurance companies by falsely claiming that Chuang sustained injuries in one of the aforementioned traffic accidents. Their aim was to deceive the insurers into approving their claims and disbursing over HK$310,000 in medical compensation.
The Social Welfare Department has affirmed its commitment to continue cooperating with the ICAC’s investigation, while also implementing stringent measures to verify each application for traffic accident compensation. These measures include requesting written confirmation from the police regarding the involvement of traffic accidents, maintaining communication with the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health to ensure the legitimacy of the applicants’ injuries, and referring suspicious cases to law enforcement agencies for further investigation. Furthermore, the department will verify whether applicants have sought compensation through alternative channels for the same traffic accident, thus preventing double compensation.