Birmingham City owner sentenced to 6-year term

HONG KONG (AP) Carson Yeung, the owner of English Championship club Birmingham City, has been sentenced to six years in jail for money laundering.

Hong Kong District Court judge Douglas Yau handed down the sentence Friday. Yeung was found guilty on Monday over his receipt of 721 million Hong Kong dollars ($93 million), using five bank accounts between January 2001 and December 2007.

The court had heard that 54-year-old Yeung and his father, who died in 2012, reported no earnings while the vast sums were deposited into the bank accounts.

Some deposits were made by securities firms and a Macau casino company, while others were made by unknown parties, many in cash.

The charges are unrelated to Birmingham City, which the 54-year-old hairdresser-turned-businessman bought in 2009 for $130 million.

However, the prosecution will apply on April 3 to confiscate some $52 million of Yeung’s assets, which have been frozen by a court injunction pending the outcome of the trial.

Birmingham won the 2011 League Cup, ending 48 years without a major trophy, but was still relegated from the Premier League that year.

Yeung had resigned his directorships with Birmingham ahead of the verdict and his stake is now below 30 percent, ensuring he does not breach Football League rules concerning people convicted of offenses involving dishonesty.