Fake qualifications lead to service order

Local | Staff reporter 12 Jul 2019

A green group worker was sentenced to 240 hours of community service for faking his academic qualifications so that he would be hired.

Johnny Wong Kwok-leung, the 58-year-old former assistant manager of Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong) Charity Ltd, used false academic and professional qualifications to deceive the organization and pay him wages totaling about HK$400,000.

Earlier he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud when he appeared at the Eastern Magistrates' Court.

Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen sentenced Wong to community service.

The case arose from a corruption complaint, according to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Wong's resume showed that he held a Master's Degree in Economics from the Hong Kong Baptist University and an associate membership of the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Having considered his qualifications and performance at the interviews, the green group thought Wong was overqualified for the post of project officer.

On May 4, 2017, Friends of the Earth employed Wong as an assistant manager at a monthly salary of more than HK$31,000.

About a year later, he resigned.

He had received salary payments of about HK$400,000.

The ICAC's inquiries revealed that the university did not offer a master of economics program, while the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants did not have any associate memberships.

In mitigation, the defense said Wong faked his qualifications to get the job and support his wife and three children. He expressed remorse.

Wong's former colleagues said he was a good employee.


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