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Former licensee convicted of providing false or misleading information to SFC

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The Eastern Magistrates’ Court convicted Mr Lau Tin Yau in a prosecution brought by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for offences under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) that arose from his licence applications to the SFC (Note 1).

Lau, who pleaded guilty to all the charges against him, was fined $36,000 and ordered to pay the SFC’s investigation costs.

The SFC told the Court that Lau failed to disclose in two licence applications to the SFC in August 2017 that he was a subject of investigations by other regulatory or criminal investigation bodies (Note 2).

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 previously provided to the SFC, 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 from 26 September 2017 to 28 February 2018 (Note 3).

Lau also failed to report to the SFC within seven business days of the occurrence of events related to criminal and disciplinary proceedings against him (Notes 4 & 5).

The SFC expects applicants and licensees to make complete, true and correct disclosure of all information submitted and make timely reports if there are any changes.  Failure to do so may affect their fitness and properness to be licensed or remain to be licensed.

Notes:

  1. Lau was licensed under the SFO to carry on Type 1 (dealing in securities) and Type 2 (dealing in futures contracts) regulated activities, and accredited to UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) Limited and UOB Kay Hian Futures (Hong Kong) Limited, respectively, from August 2017 to January 2019.  He is not currently licensed by the SFC.
  2. Under section 383 of the SFO, a person commits an offence if, in support of a licensing application, he/she makes a representation that is false or misleading in a material particular and he/she knows or is reckless as to whether the representation is false or misleading in a material particular.
    Applicants are required to disclose whether they have ever been the subject of any investigation conducted by a regulatory or criminal investigatory body.
  3. Under section 384 of the SFO, where a person is required to provide information to the SFC, it is a criminal offence to provide to the SFC any information which is false or misleading in a material particular and he/she knows or is reckless as to whether the information is false or misleading in a material particular.
  4. 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.  Failure to do so without reasonable excuse is an offence under section 135(7) of the SFO.
  5. 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 a regulatory body on 5 December 2018.

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Regulator Information

Abbreviation: SFC
Jurisdiction: Hong Kong

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