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Hong Kong jails football mogul for $93m fraud

Carson Yeung, part-owner of Birmingham City, pushed $93m through accounts despite declaring no earnings for five years.

Last updated: 07 Mar 2014 14:28
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Carson Yeung resigned his directorships with Birmingham ahead of the verdict [AFP]

A Hong Kong hairdresser turned football club owner has been sentenced to six years' jail for laundering an estimated $93m, declaring no earnings for five years despite depositing huge sums in several bank accounts.

Carson Yeung, who part-owns the English club Birmingham City, was sentenced by Hong Kong District Court judge Douglas Yau on Friday.

The trial heard how that 54-year-old Yeung and his father, who died in 2012, reported no earnings for four or five years between 2001 and 2007 yet had vast sums deposited into their bank accounts.

Some deposits were made by securities firms and a Macau casino company, while others were made by unknown parties, many in cash.

The charges are unrelated to Birmingham City, which Yeung bought in 2009 for $130 million.

However the prosecution will apply on April 3 to confiscate some $52m of Yeung's assets, which have been frozen by a court injunction pending the outcome of the trial.

The prosecution successfully argued during the trial that the $93m that passed through the five accounts had come from "unknown parties without any apparent reason".

The sum, they said, was "more than 300 times the total combined salary" of Yeung and his father.

Yeung had insisted he accumulated his hundreds of millions of dollars through stock trading, upmarket hair salons, business ventures in mainland China and investing in casinos in Macau.

Yeung had already resigned his directorships with Birmingham ahead of the verdict and his stake is now below 30 percent, ensuring he did not breach Football League rules concerning people convicted of offences involving dishonesty.

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