Ex-principal held over $10.6m fraud caseLocal | Erin Chan 28 Oct 2021
The former principal of GT (Ellen Yeung) College's primary section has been arrested for embezzling some HK$10.6 million from the school over the course of three years, police said.
Jo Nip Man, 43, resigned in May for chaotic management of the school's finances after having been principal for less than a year. He was arrested for theft last Wednesday and released on bail pending investigation. He must report to the police next month.
Police said they received a report from the school in May about a staff member - referring to Nip - obtaining the sum from the school under false pretenses between September 2018 and April this year.
The school's chancellor Desmond Lee Yu-tai said that Nip's alleged embezzlement came to light after foul play was suspected in a project he spearheaded.
"The school was planning to operate a private school in the mainland with a consortium there - the plan was overseen by Nip," he said, adding "it was possible Nip had failed to declare certain or any interests. Maybe that's how his misappropriation was discovered."
Despite the embezzlement, he said the school's finances are in good shape. The chancellor also said the school had established a task force to improve its administration and financial management.
Meantime the school's acting principal David Chan Wai-kit will be taking over Nip's post until the end of next February.
But an insider on the management committee said the embezzlement had "nothing to do with the mainland school plan."
The insider revealed the project had been suspended several years ago, and the pandemic only compounded the suspension.
In a statement yesterday, the Education Bureau said it highly valued teachers' professional conduct, warning that teachers' teaching qualifications could be revoked for committing severe crimes or misconduct.
Sources said Nip had allegedly borrowed money from other teaching staff before and gambled in his spare time.
He has a bachelor's degree in Chinese language and mathematics from the Education University and a bachelor of arts degree in Chinese language and literature from Metropolitan University.
Nip joined GT (Ellen Yeung) College in 2004, rising through the ranks from a teacher of Chinese to vice-principal.
In early September last year, he was promoted to principal of the primary section.