Two Jockey Club members have been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud in two membership scams.
The District Court heard that honorary voting member Stanley Freedman and a member, To Wing, falsely claimed they knew two applicants who paid HK$650,000 to a middleman to try to secure club memberships between 2009 and 2010.
Freedman was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud while To was found guilty of a conspiracy to defraud charge but not guilty of two counts of soliciting advantages.
Barrister Kevin Egan, representing Freedman, said a jail sentence would be too harsh for the 84-year-old retired businessman, who had suffered cancer twice and was in such poor health that he was restricted to a liquid diet.
Charlotte Draycott SC, said To, a 63-year- old musician, had devoted his life to his profession and played for blind people as a volunteer.
She said To became depressed, self- isolated and suffered from serious hearing impairment after being arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
The court heard minibus and taxi merchant Chan Yuet-ming gave HK$350,000 for his son and applicant Lam Wai-ming gave HK$300,000 through a middleman as a reward after the defendants signed a Jockey Club membership endorsement form.
But the court was told Freedman had no knowledge that Chan had given HK$350,000 in exchange for a membership endorsement. The middleman arranged for Chan and Lam to meet Freedman and exchange personal information.
During the meeting, Freedman told Lam to take out the battery of his mobile phone for security.
Before To signed the endorsement form for Chan and Lam, he implied to the middleman that he would like a reward.
The prosecution said Freedman and To had falsely claimed they had known Chan and Lam for three years and one year, respectively.
The Jockey Club approved Lam's application but Chan's was denied.
The two men were freed on bail pending sentencing today.