A police constable was sentenced to eight months in jail by a local court for conning his former girlfriend out of HK$157,871 (US$20,124), a crime he claimed to have committed after overspending on food and drinks with his colleagues.
Cheung Wing-ting, 25, duped the woman into making 20 loans and lending her credit card for him to buy a Rolex watch valued at HK$62,371.
Cheung, a Narcotics Bureau officer at the time of the offence, told her he needed the money to repay mortgages and loans, and pay medical fees incurred after being diagnosed with a brain illness. He also claimed he needed the timepiece for his work as a London gold investment agent.
But when he was interviewed by officers at the Independent Commission Against Corruption in July last year, he admitted under caution that he had no loans or outstanding medical expenses to settle at the time of the offence, and had never resigned from the police force to engage in the London gold trade.
Cheung pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud at West Kowloon Court on Wednesday, after the city's corruption watchdog agreed to withdraw a charge of perverting the course of justice accusing him of pressuring his former partner to drop her allegations against him.
In sentencing him, Magistrate Jason Wan Siu-ming said a custodial sentence was appropriate, as the scam took place over a long period and involved repeated offences committed by the defendant, who had cheated his ex-girlfriend out of a considerable amount of money.
Wan also ordered Cheung to make full compensation to the victim.
The court heard that he befriended the woman in June 2015 via a mobile dating app, where he used an alias to present himself as an undercover police for the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau. The two became lovers afterwards, but broke up in March 2017.
Cheung began asking the woman for money on July 18, 2015, under the pretence that he had to settle mortgages, car loans and medical bills. Believing what he said was true, she lent him a total of HK$95,500 on 20 separate occasions, the last time on December 10, 2016.
In January 2017, Cheung told the woman that he had opted to work as an investment agent, and had to wear a luxury watch to work.
He visited a watch shop with the woman on March 17 the same year, where he bought a Rolex with her credit card, after promising to make monthly repayments to her.
Anti-corruption officers took over the case following a complaint referred to them by police, leading to Cheung's arrest.
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