Birmingham City football club owner Carson Yeung,54, has been sentenced in Hong Kong for six years after he was found guilty of money laundering. He denied the charges by saying that he accumulated his wealth through hairdressing, share-trading, property purchases, gambling in the world’s casino hub of Macau and other investments.
The court heard how the Yeung bought Birmingham City in 2007, laundered £55 million using five bank accounts between 2001 and 2007.
Yeung worked in the UK as a teenager before becoming a hairstylist in Hong Kong. He made his investments in Macau in the 1990s and as property developer in Hong Kong.
Judge Douglas Yau said the sentence must include an element of deterrence to discourage those who are in a position to exploit the system.
Police investigators described the case as a difficult one involving analysis of financial records from as far back as 2001, welcomed the six-year sentence.
Although Yeung resigned from Birmingham International Holdings Ltd (BIHL), the parent company of the Championship football club, while he awaited the verdict, the verdict could throw his future involvement with the club into doubt.
The BBC’s Andrew Wood in Hong Kong said it was a tough sentence, despite Yeung’s lawyer asking for leniency.
His son, Ryan, 20, and brother-in-law Shui Cheong Ma, 52, remain on the club’s board of directors.