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SBD Global/November 29, 2012/International Football

Birmingham City Owner's Money Laundering Trial Awarded Delay Until April

Championship Club Birmingham City Owner Carson Yeung "won a delay of his trial on money laundering charges until April 29," according to Simon Lee of BLOOMBERG. Hong Kong District Court Judge Douglas Yau granted the request from Yeung's lawyer, "who said the defense needed more time to gather evidence to show how the hairdresser became a successful businessman." The team's parent company, Birmingham Int'l Holdings Ltd., "has been suspended from trading in Hong Kong since June '11," when Yeung, its chairman, was charged with five counts of money laundering that involved HK$721.3M ($93M). John Reading, a lawyer for the prosecution, "argued that little had changed since the court rejected a similar application last week and the trial shouldn't be delayed." Yau said, "I do not agree that the defendant has been trying to delay [the proceedings]." Yau scheduled 25 days for the trial next year (BLOOMBERG, 11/28).

KEEPING A LOW PROFILE: The AFP's Aaron Tam wrote Yeung was "relatively unknown before his emergence in English football," and he "maintained a low profile" even after he took control of Birmingham in '09 in a £81M takeover from David Sullivan and David Gold, who are now co-owners of EPL club West Ham. Media reports "have described how Yeung made his first fortune on cheap stocks, then increased his earnings by co-founding Greek Mythology, a casino in Asian gambling haven Macau," in '04. Yeung "did not speak to journalists outside court after Wednesday's adjournment," apart from saying "don't chase me" (AFP, 11/28).
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