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Benq Chair Lee cleared in Taiwan of insider trading

Taoyuan court verdict absolves K.Y. Lee of money laundering, forgery, breach of trust

Benq Chair Lee cleared in Taiwan of insider trading

K.Y. Lee, chairman of AU Optronics Corp. and Qisda Corp., was acquitted in Taiwan on six charges including insider trading, stock manipulation and embezzlement after a two-year trial.
The executive of Qisda, the electronics maker formerly known as Benq Corp., was cleared by Taoyuan District Court Judge Wei Yu-chieh of using insider information to trade stock before the public disclosure of financial statements.
Lee, 56, was indicted two years ago for alleged crimes during his tenure as chairman of Benq, which was Taiwan's biggest maker of mobile phones. The company lost a total of NT$32.84 billion (US$997 million) in 2005 and 2006 after buying Siemens AG's unprofitable handset unit.
"I'm pleased with the verdict," Kevin Hsiao, Lee's lawyer said outside the court yesterday.
Lee was also acquitted on charges of breach of trust, money laundering and forgery.
Qisda fell 4.9 percent to close at NT$13.55 in Taipei, before the ruling. The stock has more than doubled this year, after falling to a record NT$5.17 in November last year. AU declined 3 percent to NT$32.15 yesterday.
The two years of losses at Benq, which became Taiwan's biggest mobile-phone maker after buying Siemens AG's handset unit in 2005, erased all the profit it had made since 1999.
The company filed for insolvency protection for its European business in September 2006 and sold its camera business, office buildings in Taiwan and part of its stake in AU Optronics.
Former Benq president Sheaffer Lee, ex-chief financial officer Eric Yu, Alex Liu, who was associate vice president in the finance department, and Liu Da Wen, then an accounting manager, were all acquitted by the court yesterday.
In May 2007, prosecutors alleged the Benq executives used Creo Venture Corp., a Malaysian unit formed in 2002, to trade employees' bonus shares. The Benq officials paid income taxes with proceeds from the transactions, prosecutors said.
Creo held 25.9 million Benq shares as of March 20, 2006, making it the ninth-largest shareholder of Benq, prosecutors said.


Updated : 2021-05-15 01:34 GMT+08:00