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Ex-president seeking to sell U.S. properties

Ex-president seeking to sell U.S. properties

Washington, July 15 (CNA) Taiwan's former first family has commissioned real estate agents to sell off two properties in New York and Virginia that the U.S. government is seeking to expropriate, according to advertisements posted on realtors' websites.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed civil forfeiture complaints with U.S. courts Wednesday seeking to take over a Manhattan condominium and a house in Keswick, Virginia that were allegedly bought with bribe money paid to former President Chen Shui-bian and his wife Wu Shu-jen during his presidency between 2000 and 2008.
Advertisements posted on real estate agencies' websites show that both properties at issue have been put up for sale by their owners.
The house in Keswick is located in Glenmore, a gated community outside Charlottesville. The estate covers an area of 500 acres, with an 18-hole golf course and an equestrian club.
The online advertisement shows Chen's house has three bedrooms and is for sale at US$599,000.
The New York condominium is located in Onyx Chelsea building, a few blocks from Madison Square Garden.
According to the U.S. government's complaints, Taiwan's Yuanta Securities Co. paid bribes of about US$6 million to Wu between 2005 and 2006 to ensure that Taiwan's government would not interfere with its bid to acquire additional shares in Fuhwa Financial Holding Co.
The complaints accuse Wu of laundering the bribe money using shell companies and Swiss bank accounts controlled by her son Chen Chih-chung and his wife Huang Jui-ching, after which some of the money was used to acquire the two U.S. properties.
U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney was quoted in a Reuters report as saying that if the properties are obtained by the U.S. government, they will be sold and the proceeds deposited into a forfeiture fund and then made available to share with Taiwan.
(By Zep Hu and Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2021-06-25 01:56 GMT+08:00