U.S. Jury Convicts Ex Hong Kong Official For Graft

The United States on Wednesday convicted a former Hong Kong official who was backed by a Chinese energy firm of bribery and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York.

A jury found Chi Ping Patrick Ho, 69, guilty of seven of the eight counts against him, including attempting to bribe foreign leaders in Chad and Uganda for favorable deals with Patrick HoPatrick Ho (Photo: SUNREST by (CC BY-SA 4.0) , based in Shanghai.

Ho had previously served as a home affairs secretary in Hong Kong, but at the time led the China Energy Fund Committee, a nongovernmental organization that was based in Hong Kong and Arlington, Va. It was funded by CEFC China.

Prosecutors said that Ho, on behalf of CEFC China, tried to bribe the President of Chad, Idriss Deby, in 2014 with US$2 million in order to receive advantageous oil rights but was rejected.

Around the same time, prosecutors said, Ho started eyeing ways to receive lucrative deals in Uganda. He had also sent $500,000 via wire transfers to Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa, after Kutesa finished his term as President of the United Nations’ General Assembly. Another $500,000 was sent to the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, as a “campaign donation” even though Museveni had already been reelected.

After the verdict was announced, U.S. Attorney General Geoffrey Berman said that “Ho’s repeated attempts to corrupt foreign leaders were not business as usual, but criminal efforts to undermine the fairness of international markets and erode the public’s faith in its leaders.”

Ho faces up to 65 years in prison.