© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The brand of Guangzhou-based property developer R&F Properties is pictured at a strategic cooperation signing ceremony in Beijing, China July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee
By Sam Tobin
LONDON (Reuters) -The billionaire co-chairman and CEO of Chinese language developer Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd is needed in america, accused of paying kickbacks to acquire permits for a development challenge in San Francisco, a court docket in London heard on Monday.
Zhang Li, who co-founded Hong Kong-listed R&F, is needed on a provisional warrant issued within the Northern District of California that accuses him of taking part in a scheme to bribe public officers between 2015 and 2020.
Ben Lloyd, representing U.S. prosecutors, stated the scheme concerned the fee of bribes to officers in San Francisco for the advantage of R&F’s U.S. affiliate, Z&L Properties Inc.
R&F, in an announcement on its official WeChat account late on Monday, stated it’s taking “authorized motion” in opposition to a “false accusation”. Zhang was accused of bribery due to provision of “banquet dinner and lodge lodging” to the previous San Francisco public affairs chief who was visiting China, it stated.
Zhang didn’t seem on Monday at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Courtroom, the place his attorneys requested a choose to grant him bail forward of a authorized battle in opposition to extradition to america.
The 69-year-old, who’s price $2.3 billion, in keeping with Forbes journal, provided to pay a safety of 15 million kilos ($18.4 million).
Mark Summers, representing Zhang, stated 10 million kilos of the safety could be offered by R&F. He added: “It can not go increased than that due to the itemizing guidelines [of] the Hong Kong inventory trade.”
Zhang would supply the opposite 5 million kilos, Summers stated.
Decide John Zani granted bail and imposed a 24-hour curfew on Zhang. The choose additionally stated Zhang should be handcuffed to a member of his court-appointed non-public safety workforce when he left his home for the needs of attending court docket.
In a separate securities submitting to the Hong Kong inventory trade on Tuesday, R&F stated it didn’t present any safety cash in the direction of bail for Zhang in London, including it has no real interest in Z&L, which is owned by Zhang.
It stated that the case won’t have any materials hostile influence on the corporate’s enterprise and operations.
R&F shares, nevertheless, tumbled greater than 13% on Tuesday, underperforming a 0.3% fall within the Mainland Properties Index.