Former TVB GM charged with corruption

Two others to be tried for alleged fraud and conspiracy

HONG KONG – Former general manager of Television Broadcasts Ltd. Stephen Chan Chi-wan has been charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for alleged corruption and conspiracy to defraud offenses when handling TVB business affairs, the ICAC announced on Thursday.

Chan and his former assistant Tseng Pei-kun, who held the position of director at Chan’s Idea Empire Advertising and Production Company Ltd. and Idea Empire Publisher Company Ltd, were charged with two counts of conspiracy for an agent to accept an advantage, in addition to two alternative charges of agent accepting an advantage and offering an advantage to an agent, respectively.

Chan and Tseng were charged for allegedly conspiring together for the former to receive a sum of about HK$127,000 (US$16,351) from Idea Empire Advertising and Production during the period from July 2009 to January 2010. Chan was believed to have participated or performed in an event or a show related to TVB’s business as return.

The pair was also charged for allegedly conspiring together to defraud TVB and TVB artists between January and February 2010, to have allegedly told television artists and singers that their presence at an event was to support Chan for the release of his book, while hiding the fact that the event was organized by Idea Empire Publisher with outside sponsorship, under the arrangement the company was obligated to invite some of the said celebrities to attend the event.

Wilson Chan Wing-shuen, former head of TVB business development of the marketing and sales division, was also charged alongside Tseng for conspiring together to defraud TVB between September and December 2009. They have allegedly dishonestly and falsely fabricating a service agreement between TVB and Idea Empire Advertising and Production to dishonestly misappropriate $550,000 from $5.2 million due and payable to TVB from a business corporation under a commercial contract for Idea Empire, to obtain $550,000 from TVB.

Stephen Chan was arrested in March and immediately terminated from his position at TVB. A former civil servant who had started his career as an administrative officer, he once served as assistant commissioner of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, while working as a part time disc jockey under an alias. He joined TVB in 1992 as a program controller after two years with Commercial Radio, and was promoted to controller (External Affairs) in 1996. He rose to the position of assistant general manager in 2002, and general manager in 2004. He made his name in Hong Kong popular entertainment with a reputation for loving the limelight, with multiple appearances on TVB and in print media, especially hosting the TVB celebrity interview show, “Be My Guest," in 2006.

The trial will commence next Tuesday.
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