Often Partisan

OP in HK – Is this the End for Carson?

While the saga of the takeover by Trillion Trophy Asia rumbles on, BIH’s current major shareholder Carson Yeung faces an uncertain time. His final appeal against his money laundering conviction will be heard on May 31 in the Court of Final Appeal – will he emerge a free man or will he have to return to jail to serve out the remainder of his sentence?

Carson Yeung

Three years ago yesterday, I attended the district court for the first time along with fellow Blues blogger Matthew Elliott to see the opening of Carson’s trial. It was the first chapter of the time I’ve spent here in Hong Kong and opened my eyes to the chicanery not only of the legal system but the ways of the financial world in Hong Kong.

Next month will see the final chapter for Carson at least. His appeal will be heard simultaneously with that of another convicted money launderer, Iraqi-born Dutch national Salim Majed. The reason for this is that both cases will test the money laundering law as it currently stands with appeals on technical grounds; that of duplicity of offences (whereby the prosecution has bundled many separate transactions into one offence) and of the lack of proof of an underlying offence.

I know I’ve certainly been worried in the past that should Carson have his convictions overturned he could return to Birmingham City as there would be no bar against it; I’ve been assured by various sources that his time is now over following the deal cut with EY but I will admit that I want to wait for it to happen before believing it.

My co-author Will Giles has always maintained that he believes Carson will walk free from his final appeal. Having sat through much of the original trial I can understand why; the case against Carson appeared to be that he had a lot of money go through his accounts and no effort was made for long periods by the prosecution to prove that the money was the product of an indictable offence.

This has changed somewhat with the arrest of alleged triad Cheung Chi Tai, one of the people named as a depositor of cash into the accounts in question. His trial has been delayed somewhat and there is no certainty over what will happen as legal sources here believe that it will be difficult to get people like Carson to testify against Cheung in the case.

On the other side of the coin, senior counsel sources here in Hong Kong have advised me that it’s very unlikely Carson will see his appeal upheld. There is immense political pressure from the mainland to stop corruption and with various figures in China having been convicted of bribery and abuse of power including senior political figures such as Zhou Yongkang (who Will and I link to Carson in the book) it could well be that Carson finds his appeal unsuccessful.

It’s eminently possible that Carson will have his appeal partially upheld and his sentence reduced to time served but that would still mean he would not be allowed to be a director of Blues (or BIH while the company owns the football club) under FL regulations. That seems like the compromise agreement; the conviction remains which pleases China while Carson gets to stay out of prison and can continue to invest in the stock market as he has been since his release in August.

I really do think we have seen the last of Carson at BCFC; the deal he has cut with BIH will ensure nothing further emerges in court about the way BIH was run with him at the helm which means the former hairdresser can continue some kind of stock-market investing career.

I know some people won’t believe it until any and all HK/Chinese influence is removed from the club but the truth is that Carson is just another small fish in what is a shark tank of investors here in Hong Kong.

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36 Responses to “OP in HK – Is this the End for Carson?”

  • swissjonny says:

    Very interesting Daniel.I think your right- the political weight behind the clean up in China will not leave HK untouched.I think your compromise idea is probably bang on.CY is a small player by HK standards and got in way above his depth.He tried and during his tenure we had a very special day.I wish him no harm but please CY disappear gracefully and let us get on with rebuilding our club. Pannu on the other hand……I think I better keep my thoughts to myself.

    • almajir says:

      Legal issues prevent me from posting what I’d like to about Pannu.

      • Trevor Honnor says:

        I think you should write another book about a completely fictional character called Rita Ranoo – a foreigner who moves to England and causes trouble where ever she goes.

        I’d buy it, just sayin :)

  • John says:

    How are you getting on with your second book? Are you still doing it?

    • almajir says:

      Stalled for now due to having too much work on. I’ve got enough material for it – it’s down to the motivation to write it.

      • stilflatshadow says:

        you’re f*cked then welcome to a one book wonder world.

        edited by almajir

  • Stephen says:

    Very informative article. Would be interesting if the judge decreed that Carson could remain free (on a time served guilty basis) on the proviso that he becomes a witness for the prosecution in the Cheung Chi Tai trial.

  • Art says:

    Really happy to see the back of Carson but would like to know a lot more about the new owners who appear to be very elusive.

  • ChrisG says:

    Dan do you know what happens to all Carsons shares in BIH?, surely he won’t walk away from all this without a penny after all the money he’s spent on BCFC.

    • almajir says:

      Okay.

      If his conviction is upheld, the restraint order against his assets can be converted into a confiscation order. However I’ve not seen his shares listed among the things in that order.

      The word is there is some sort of mechanism whereby TTA walk out of the EGM in control. I can’t see Carson walking away with no money but I don’t know how they’re gonna do it.

      • ChrisG says:

        I suppose one way they could do it is for TTA to buy the shares directly from CY. I wonder if in the agreement CY made with E&Y to stay out of things concerning BIH he also agreed to sell his shares as soon as they are re listed on the HKSE.

        • zxcv says:

          ChrisG, Any company can have a buy back agreement as long as it is passed at an AGM/EGM and HKSE rules are adhered to. Maybe this will be an item at the upcoming egm .

          • ChrisG says:

            I see, tbh I don’t understand the 1st thing about shares apart from the sharesave scheme I did at work!!. I just wondered how it would work as CY is the largest share holder, but if as you say they may discuss it at the EGM to buy them back, which would make sense if they did, then maybe we will then be rid of him for good.

          • zxcv says:

            Chris, The workplace share save scheme is a brilliant way it invest some of your hard earned cash and with a 20% discount and 3 or 5 years to save or your money back with interest you can`t go very far wrong mate. my advice is put in as much as you can as you can`t lose mate. and take out new one each year as you can but at todays price with the discount and you get to a stage where the ist investment pays for subsequent years. MY guess would be Carson deal with e&y will include his shares which may need an agreement from s/holders at egm.

  • peter bates says:

    Good news about carson not being involved with bcfc but I can’t help feeling that good intentions were there when he took over the club and we don’t really know if the money to buy the club was his in the first place I think you got it right Daniel small fish in a big sea but it doesn’t matter how much money people have got the club and its genuine fans will always be bigger than any business person and any amount of money even though we need some right now I’m not interested in what happens to people who leave our club like a lot of people I’m a Birmingham city supporter and will be till the day I die as for pannu get back under the stone that’s where you deserve to be keep up the good work Daniel and kro

  • peter bates says:

    Daniel is the case against pannu still going to court or will tta try to do a deal with him as well like with the others or do you think his ego will get in the way kro

  • You should finish your book Dan it is part of Birmingham’s history , I think all of us are going through withdrawal symptoms as it draws to a close , the season and the ownership problems , you have put to much good work into this affair to let it pass , the book could help a change in football for the better , you have done to much work , took to many risks , gone through to much stress , get the job finished as no one likes a book with pages missing at the end …

  • peter bates says:

    Sorry will Ernst and young try to deal with pannu kro

  • Mark mccausland says:

    I just hope panos manages to keep his role at the club. Im hoping TTA see that hes done a good job and keep him on board.

  • Blue Eyed Boy says:

    Lets see………………………………………………………..

  • ian ambrose says:

    Good luck by 31st May and wait to see hearing

  • Dave Mann says:

    Dan , of the subject but what’s the reaction there about Ding Junhai and Marco Fu being in the semi final and maybe the final of the world snooker championships being from China and Hong Kong respectfully .. It’s huge out there and even though you might not follow the game I suspect it’s pretty big news or not ?? .. That’s ” respectively ” . KRO

  • bluenoserob says:

    On a completely unrelated matter.. how happy must Troy Deeney be tonight?

  • mark says:

    i wonder how confident Carson thinks he could be a free man……shortly.

    Whatever happens he a bloody good fighter….kept the wolves from his home…..is fingers really removed from the blues?? more Chinese smoke and mirrors methinks…..more twists and turns still to be played out. This Saga could be epic…..will pannu have the final laugh…Will batman and robin return………holy smoke…….ok let’s be serious forecast we gonna win the title next year, now don’t take the p*ss
    Big well -done to Leicester go 4 it………

    • mark says:

      very big well done to leicester champions with two games to spare…….must say a little bit about Claudio had his mobile off yesterday, as he watches an episode of only fools and horses with his mum last night…..what a darling …..hahaha

  • Boro are still moaning About the offside goal , which goes to prove that in building a sde that you need good all-rounders in a team with goalscorers everywhere so that game results are not effected by blindside decisions or fluke goals , as there is nothing worse than having our weekends spoilt by an unfair loss , a goal a game means to many lost matches , blues fans have been blessed this season by midfield goals that could rank as goals of the season , that for me as been the highlight of the season , ,that with the performance against the top clubs ,..I don’t like the idea of Carson being tried simultaneously with somebody else , as it seems like muck spreading so there are no bad areas ……KRO

  • Gerard says:

    Dan a quick question , on the 31STMay -does CY appeal take the form of a full trial lasting days in front of judges or simply that the judges on the day give down a full and final verdict after totally assessing the evidence once again ? In other words a quick decision or prolonged one? please advise

    • almajir says:

      As I’ve said before Gerard, it’s from May 31 – June 2 and it’s a couple of months for a verdict…

  • Championshp clubs are starting to talk to clubs on doing deals for players , blues need to be in early not to wait till what’s left if we are serious about promotion , KRO


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