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Tycoon Gary Wang gets sentence reduced in Rebar Group scandal

Tycoon Gary Wang gets sentence reduced in Rebar Group scandal

Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) The Taiwan High Court reduced the sentences Monday of many members of the Wang family who had been found guilty in late 2008 of siphoning more than NT$40 billion from many subsidiaries of the family's Rebar Asia Pacific Group. Former Eastern Multimedia Group President Gary Wang had his sentence cut to five years and eight months for his role in the embezzlement scandal, after being given 18 years in jail and fined NT$700 million (US$23.3 million) by the Taipei District Court on Dec. 31, 2008. The high court said in its ruling that it reduced Wang's sentence because he had shown remorse by compensating the victims in the cases, including those represented by the Securities and Futures Investors Protection Center. The high court also ruled that the sum of NT$1.2 billion that was confiscated by the authorities from Wang's assets should not be returned to him. Gary Wang and his sister and six brothers were found to have collaborated with their father, group founder Wang You-theng, to loot funds from many of the group's subsidiaries, and were given jail sentences by the district court ranging from three years and six months to 20 years along with fines. They all had their prison terms shortened and fines reduced by the high court. Former Rebar Group Chairwoman Wang Ling-mei was given eight years in jail and fined NT$20 million (down from the original 18-year term and NT$150 million fine). Former Asia Pacific Broadband Telecom Corp. (APBT) Acting Chairman Wang Ling-tai was sentenced to eight years in jail, down from 20 years in jail and an NT$700 million fine, and former Chia Hsin Food & Synthetic Fiber Co. President Wang Ling-yi got his 20-year sentence and NT$1 billion fine reduced to 12 years in prison. Former Chinese Bank Vice President Wang Ling-chiao was given five years and six months in jail and a NT$10 million fine, instead of the original 13 year-term and NT$300 million fine. Another Chinese Bank vice president, Wang Ling-ke, was given a one-year sentence, suspended for two years, after being sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined NT$100 million by the lower court. Finally, Yi Feng Asset Management Co. Chairman Lawrence Wang received a two-year sentence instead of the previous three years and six months. A lawyer for Gary Wang said he respected the rulings by the high court and would decide whether to appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court after discussing it with his client. Prosecutors can also appeal the rulings. A total of 123 individuals were found guilty by the Taipei District Court in the high-profile embezzlement case. Of them, 104 appealed the verdict and 92 had their guilty verdicts upheld. The major irregularities identified by the high court verdict included the hollowing out of subsidiaries Chia Hsin Food & Synthetic Fiber Co., Great Chinese Bills Finance Corp. and APBT; illegal lending by the Chinese Bank and Union Insurance Co.; and fake transactions between the Eastern Multimedia Group and APBT. The total amount of funds looted from the group was estimated at more than NT$42.78 billion (US$1.3 billion). The financial irregularities in the Rebar empire came to light after founder Wang You-theng and his third wife, Wang Chin She-ying, fled to China in December 2006 soon after the Rebar Group applied for bankruptcy protection. The couple later flew to the United States in January 2007 and were placed by Taiwanese authorities on the country's most-wanted list on Jan. 15, 2007, a listing that will remain in effect through May 2031. Wang You-theng was indicted in March 2007 on a long list of charges, including fraud, money laundering and insider trading. Some former and incumbent public servants, including former ministers of finance Lin Chuan and Lee Yung-san, and former Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Minister Susan Chang, are still under investigation for their alleged involvement in the scandal. (By Huang Yi-han, Tang Hsiao-tien & Bear Lee)

Updated : 2021-10-16 16:01 GMT+08:00