Carson Yeung jailed for six years

Hong Kong hairdresser-turned-businessman and Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung Ka-sing was sentenced to six years in jail on Friday afternoon, after being found guilty of money laundering earlier in the week. Yeung’s story has been front page news in Hong Kong, with his colorful career encompassing everything from cutting Jackie Chan’s hair to meeting with Jia Qinglin – number 4 in Hu Jintao’s cabinet – and washing money for notorious triad bosses.

Yeung's investigation was triggered by an anonymous letter of complaint in 2008
Yeung’s investigation was triggered by an anonymous letter of complaint in 2008

His lawyer, who had already made two unsuccessful attempts to halt the trial, made a last-ditch appeal to the judge on Friday morning, arguing that some of the many millions in illegal proceeds Yeung had banked had been counted twice by the prosecution, adding that Yeung wasn’t evil so much as he was ill-informed. The judge, who had previously said Yeung had been lying through his teeth throughout the trial, was unimpressed: the sentence, he said, included an element of deterrence, even though he gave Yeung a year less than the maximum seven.

Hong Kong Correctional Services will now be responsible for Yeung's welfare
Hong Kong Correctional Services will now be responsible for Yeung’s welfare

The most likely scenario for Birmingham City fans is this: Yeung’s assets have already been frozen but HK authorities can start proceedings early next month to reclaim anything they can. Since Yeung owns 28% of the club, which is still controlled by his various friends and family members, that would likely force a sale of his stake, allowing new owners to come in. It also appears to be good news that a 12% stake in the club to Beijing Liangzhu “media company” has fallen through – the club needs the money but selling to what appears to be a shell company is just asking for more trouble.

There are a lot of ifs and buts here, though, and Yeung has shown enough chicanery to suggest that there may well be more twists to come. An appeal, for starters, is all but guaranteed. But there is still a glimmer of hope for fans desperate to put this chapter behind them, despite Yeung’s man in charge at Birmingham, Peter Pannu, insisting that nothing at the club will change. The decline from League Cup winners in 2011 to cash-strapped Championship strugglers today has been steep, and fans at this point would likely even trade another relegation to be rid of the Hong Kong connection.

3 thoughts on “Carson Yeung jailed for six years”

  1. How many times will the name of Polly Anna Chu appear in future investigations into money laundering?
    The old addage of a “Woman Scorned” comes to mind, when you do not pay debts back.
    KRO to the Blues, and the sooner we are sold to decent owners of any nationality the better.

    1. Will be very interesting to see whether this investigation brings anyone else down or not, but HK/Macau is definitely the money laundering capital of the world, usually involving the Chinese mainland in some way.
      Chu appears to be very rich and very well connected, but big names have been brought down in recent months, so you never know who’s next.

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