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Birmingham City owner guilty of money-laundering

Carson Yeung, 54, was found guilty by a Hong Kong court on Monday of money laundering.

Carson Yeung, 54, was found guilty by a Hong Kong court on Monday of money laundering. Picture: sxc.hu.

LONDON - Birmingham City Football Club owner Carson Yeung was found guilty by a Hong Kong court on Monday of five counts of money-laundering in a high-profile trial that has cast a spotlight on how the barber-turned-businessman made his fortune.

Yeung, 54, had denied five charges of money-laundering between January 2001 and December 2007, totaling $93 million.

District Court Judge Douglas Yau said Yeung had lied about how he made his money and exaggerated the amount of profit generated by his hair salon business.

"I find the defendant not a witness of truth. I find that he is someone who is prepared to, and did try to, lie whenever he saw the need to do so," the judge told a court room packed with local and international media.

Yeung, who was dressed in a dark suit and striped tie, will be sentenced on Friday morning.

The trial has revealed the flamboyant businessman's close ties to Macau's casino world, both as an investor and gambler, and how that facilitated business investments that helped him amass his wealth.

The businessman and other investors bought into the English Midlands club in 2007 and acquired the rest in 2009.

Last month, Yeung resigned from parent company Hong Kong-listed Birmingham International Holdings Ltd (BIHL) while he awaited the verdict.

A week later, the indebted parent said it was selling a 12 percent share in its UK subsidiary for $5.8 million to a little-known Chinese advertising firm.

Yeung was arrested in June 2011, when trading in shares of the English second-tier football club's parent was suspended. They resumed trade on 7 February and have risen 39 percent since then.

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