Hong Kong won’t appeal ex-JPMorgan banker bribery acquittal

The Hong Kong government won’t appeal the acquittal of an ex-JPMorgan banker accused of bribery after offering a job to the son of a client.

Ex-banker Catherine Leung Kar-cheung was charged in 2019 with bribing the chair of Kerry Logistics by offering a job to his son, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Leung was acquitted of two counts of bribery on 1 February after a Hong Kong judge said it was not clear if she intended to win a deal via the job offer or was just trying to build a good relationship with the client.

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The prosecution was brought by Hong Kong’s anti-corruption agency, the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The case follows scrutiny of JPMorgan in the US over its so-called sons and daughters programme which involved hiring relatives of clients and potential clients to win investment banking mandates.

JPMorgan agreed to pay $264m in 2016 to the US government to resolve civil and criminal charges over breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which outlaws bribery abroad.

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Hong Kong’s Department of Justice told the WSJ that it could only appeal on matters of law and “no appeal is warranted in this case”.

A lawyer for Leung declined to comment to the WSJ.

Leung was a vice chair of JPMorgan’s Asia-Pacific investment banking business. She was charged in May with two counts of bribery.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth

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