The Macau Prosecutor’s Office has filed an appeal to the Court of Final Appeal claiming charges of fraud against the former Chairman of collapsed junket Suncity Group should be reinstated, sources have told IAG.
In October, the Macau Court of Second Instance upheld an appeal by Chau and other senior Suncity members against charges of fraud related to allegations of “betting under the table” in former Suncity junket rooms. Under the ruling, Chau and his fellow defendants were no longer required to compensate Macau’s concessionaires for alleged losses, although the total amount they are required to pay to the Macau government was more than tripled to HK$25 billion (US$3.2 billion) due to new money laundering charges.
According to sources, the Public Prosecutor’s Office recently filed an appeal with the Court of Final Appeal calling for the original charge of significant fraud by the Court of First Instance to be upheld.
In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office believes Chau should face higher penalties, including reinstatement of HK$2.08 billion (US$266 million) in compensation to be paid back to Macau’s concessionaires.
Chau was arrested in November 2021 and transferred to Coloane Prison for detention on charges of fraud, triad offences and illegal gambling.
The case was tried in the Court of First Instance for more than six months, and on 18 January 2023 Chau was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and required to pay compensation to five concessionaires: Wynn Macau (HK$770 million), Galaxy Entertainment Group (HK$550 million), MGM China (HK$300 million), Sands China (HK$290 million) and SJM (HK$170 million).
Both the Prosecutor’s Office and Chau appealed against the judgement to the Court of Second Instance. The Court announced its decision in October, dismissing the fraud charge but upholding Chau’s 18-year prison sentence and increasing the total amount in compensation owed from HK$8.6 billion (US$1.1 billion), to both government and concessionaires, to HK$25 billion entirely to the government.
As per the judicial system of Macau, there are three levels of courtroom by way of the Court of First Instance, the Court of Second Instance, and the Court of Final Appeal.