HK officials charged in housing fraud scandal

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's anti-corruption watchdog says it's laying fraud charges against a former government secretary over a housing scandal that erupted days after he was appointed by the city's new leader.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption said Wednesday it's charging former Secretary for Development Mak Chai-Kwong with conspiracy to defraud. The assistant director of the Highways Department, Tsang King-man, is also being charged.

The two are alleged to have abused a government housing allowance by hiding the fact that they owned the apartments that they rented to each other to claim the payments from 1985 to 1990.

Mak was arrested less than two weeks after taking office in July. The scandal rocked the administration of Leung Chun-ying, whose popularity has sunk following a number of controversies and missteps.

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