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Ex-JPMorgan banker faces bribery charges in Hong Kong

Catherine Leung Kar-cheung, a former managing director of J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd., is facing charges of bribery for allegedly hiring the son of a logistics company's former chairman in exchange for work on the company's IPO, according to Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Leung's responsibilities at the time included sourcing business for the company, parent JPMorgan Chase & Co. and affiliates. She was charged with allegedly offering the then chairman employment of his son on two occasions, once on Jan. 19, 2010, and a second time between June 28, 2010, and Oct. 28, 2011.

The logistics company in question is Kerry Logistics Network Ltd., the South China Morning Post reported May 20. JPMorgan did not win the IPO deal, which was instead awarded to other investment banks. Leung appeared in court on May 20 and was released on an HK$20,000 bail. She was also allowed to travel overseas for business trips. A senior investigator at ICAC requested for adjournment till June 28 and that the case be transferred to the district court.

In around 2007, J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) started hiring candidates through its client referral programs. The U.S. SEC found that JPMorgan hired about 100 interns and full-time employees at the request of influential government officials, which helped the company win or retain business worth more than $100 million in revenues. In 2016, the company agreed to pay more than US$264 million to settle bribery claims regarding its hiring practices in China.