Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Extradition of Hon-Ming

December 6, 2006

IN THE MATTER OF THE EXTRADITION OF CHAN HON-MING


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roanne L. Mann, United States Magistrate Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

In response to a request by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People' s Republic of China (" Hong Kong"), the United States of America (" the government") moves under 18 U.S.C. § 3184 to have this Court certify the extraditability of Chan Hon-Ming (" Chan") to Hong Kong, where he is wanted on various fraud charges. Chan opposes extradition on several grounds. For the reasons described below, the government' s request for certification of extraditability is hereby granted in its entirety.

PROCEDURAL OVERVIEW

On November 10, 2004, Magistrate Ian Candy, a magistrate in and for Hong Kong, issued an arrest warrant charging Chan with eight counts of false accounting, twenty-two counts of procuring the making of an entry in the record of a bank by deception, fifteen counts of using a copy of a false instrument, and one count of evasion of liability by deception. See Request by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People' s Republic of China for the Surrender of Chan Hon-Ming from the United States America (" Extradition Request"), dated November 9, 2005 (Ex. B to Complaint and Affidavit in Support of Application for an Arrest Warrant (" Compl.")). One year later, on November 9, 2005, Hong Kong conveyed to the United States Department of Justice an official request for Chan' s extradition. See id. Following the issuance of an arrest warrant pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3184, Chan was arrested in this district on May 17, 2006, and was arraigned the next day. See Warrant for Arrest, dated March 14, 2006; Minute Entry for Proceedings on 5/18/06. Chan was detained without bail and remains in custody. See Minute Entry for Proceedings on 5/18/06; Minute Entry for Proceedings on 6/1/06.

This Court scheduled an extradition hearing for July 21, 2006. See Endorsed Order, dated June 7, 2006. Prior to the hearing, the parties submitted a series of legal briefs addressing Chan' s extradition. See Government' s Memorandum in Support of Extradition (" Gov. Mem."); Chan Hon-Ming' s Memorandum in Opposition to Extradition (" Chan Mem."); Government' s Reply Brief In Support of Extradition (" Gov. Reply"). The hearing went forward as scheduled. See Minute Entry for Proceedings on 7/21/06. In lieu of producing witnesses at the hearing, the government relied upon a detailed sworn statement from the officer in charge of the investigation, Poon Wan-Chin (" Poon Affirmation" or " Poon Aff."), a Detective Senior Inspector with the Hong Kong Police Force, as well as a series of exhibits referenced in and attached to Poon' s thirty-three-page Affirmation.*fn1 Chan called no witnesses and presented no evidence at the extradition hearing. Instead, he challenged his extradition on a series of legal grounds, and he requested and was granted the opportunity to file a supplemental brief. See Minute Entry for Proceedings on 7/21/06; Chan Hon-Ming' s Supplemental Brief in Opposition to Extradition (" Chan Supp. Br.").*fn2 The government also made a post-hearing submission. See Letter to the Court dated 8/28/06 from Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Spector (" Gov. Supp. Letter").

THE GOVERNMENT' S PROOF

The Poon Affirmation and accompanying materials supplied by the authorities in Hong Kong establish the following facts:

In the early 1990s, Chan owned and controlled two companies involved in manufacturing garments for export, primarily to buyers in the United States; Chan' s businesses traded jointly under the name Concord Trading Company operated by Vivien Forest Fashion Company Limited (" Concord O/B Vivien"). Poon. Aff. ¶ 5. Chan obtained trade credit and import loan facilities for Concord O/B Vivien from three banks: ABN AMRO Bank (" ABN"), Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (" HSBC"), and Standard Chartered Bank (" SCB"). Id. ¶ 6. Chan was the authorized signatory on the bank accounts held by Concord O/B Vivien. Id. ¶ ¶ 12, 43, 61(a).

Investigations by the Hong Kong Police Force revealed that in 1993, Chan obtained approximately HK$40 million (equivalent to approximately US$5,150,000) from the aforesaid three banks using deceptive and fraudulent means. Id. ¶ 7(a). Specifically, between approximately July and August 1993, Chan, acting on behalf of Concord O/B Vivien, furnished ABN and HSBC with letters of credit supported by false and forged documents. Id. The nine letters of credit that Chan submitted to ABN had been issued by three overseas buyers doing business with Concord O/B Vivien. Id. ¶ 9. When ABN presented the letters of credit to the overseas buyers, two of the three buyers (who had issued eight letters of credit) refused to honor them because there were no genuine transactions underlying them and because the accompanying inspection certificates had been forged. Id. ¶ ¶ 14-16.*fn3 The letters of credit that Chan submitted to HSBC purported to have been issued by Queen City Bank, which thereafter refused to honor them because the bank had not issued them and the accompanying inspection certificates had been forged. Id. ¶ ¶ 41, 44-46. Neither ABN nor HSBC has been able to recover the funds issued as a result of the fraudulent documentation. Id. ¶ ¶ 17, 47.

In July 1993, Chan submitted false and forged documents to SCB in order to utilize import loans that SCB had extended to Concord O/B Vivien, purportedly to pay off debts that the company claimed to have owed to Yiu Yeung Enterprises Company (" Yiu Yeung"). Id. ¶ ¶ 57, 65(a). These false and forged documents fraudulently represented that Concord O/B Vivien had received clothing worth approximately HK$1.2 million (equivalent to approximately US$155,000) from Yiu Yeung, when, in fact, no such clothing had been received. Id. Yiu Yeung' s proprietor, Sae-Jong Jiang-tong, was aware that the representations were untrue and agreed to assist Chan in defrauding the bank in order to obtain repayment of money owed by Chan to Yiu Yeung. Id. ¶ ¶ 57, 66.

Using false pretenses, Chan also evaded repayment of additional sums advanced by SCB. On seven occasions between July 22, 1993 and July 23, 1993, Chan utilized a Visa Gold credit card issued to him by SCB to purchase gambling chips in the total sum of HK$1.133 million (equivalent to approximately US$143,116), which Chan used for gambling at Lisboa Casino in Macau. Id. ¶ 68. These charges exceeded his credit card limit. Id. When pressed by SCB on July 23, 1993 for repayment, Chan agreed to repay 50 percent of the credit card charges on or before August 15 and to repay the balance by the end of August. Id. However, Chan was in the process of fleeing the jurisdiction and SCB was never able to recover any portion of that debt. Id.

Meanwhile, in April 1993, Chan had placed his two Hong Kong properties on the market for sale. Id. ¶ ¶ 7(b), 17. Both were sold by the end of July and Chan received sale proceeds in the amount of HK$13 million (equivalent to approximately US$1.6 million). Id. ¶ 17. Nevertheless, when Chan left Hong Kong on September 1, 1993, there was virtually no money left in either Chan' s personal bank account, or those of Concord O/B Vivien, and none of his or the company' s debts had been repaid. Id. ¶ ¶ 7, 18, 31(b).

On these facts, Hong Kong charged Chan with the following offenses:

(a) One count of Evasion of Liability by Deception, in violation of section 18B(1)(b) of the Theft Ordinance, Chapter 210, Laws of Hong Kong, a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment for up to ten years;

(b) Eight counts of False Accounting, in violation of section 19(1)(a) of the Theft Ordinance, Chapter 210, Laws of Hong Kong, a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment for up to ten years;

(c) Twenty-two counts of Procuring the Making of an Entry in the Record of a Bank by Deception, in violation of section 18D(1) of the Theft Ordinance, Chapter 210, Laws of Hong Kong, a crime ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.