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Taiwan media tycoon Gary Wang enters prison

Taiwan media tycoon Gary Wang enters prison

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Media tycoon Gary Wang entered prison Friday to serve the remaining 20 days of a one-year prison term for forgery in the embezzlement scandal surrounding his family’s Rebar Asia Pacific Group.
His father, Rebar founder Wang You-theng, was found guilty in 2008 of siphoning more than NT$40 billion (US$1.3 billion) from the business group. In a massive trial which included more than 87 suspects, key family members received prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half to twenty years.
Gary Wang, who founded Eastern Multimedia, at one time one of Taiwan’s biggest media empires, appeared at the Taipei Prosecutors Office just before Friday noon to serve his prison sentence. He said he was reporting two weeks early, and prosecutors said they would not refuse his offer to serve his sentence immediately.
Wang, who appeared with a shaven head, said he had come to pay for the crimes of his father. He said he was hoping to set a precedent, coming in early to avoid wasting the judiciary’s resources. He wanted to spend his time in prison reading the Bible, Wang said.
The tycoon was found guilty of having signed a document that he was present at a shareholders’ meeting he actually never attended.
Wang will reportedly serve his time at the Taipei Prison in Kueishan, Taoyuan County, the same facility where former President Chen Shui-bian is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption.
Originally, Wang had estimated his remaining time in prison at 19 days, but prosecutors said that the first day he had been taken in as a suspect in the Rebar case was used for questioning and did not count as detention.
The tycoon was reportedly going to ask his attorney to apply for the return of NT$350 million (US$11.7 million) in bail he had paid in May 2008.
Earlier this week, a court condemned Wang to 11 months in prison for an unrelated land deal. It was not known when he would have to serve that sentence.
The Rebar case broke in late 2006 and soon took down Wang You-theng, a brother and six children as well as a business empire reaching from banks and construction to hotels, department stores and television stations.
The elder Wang and his wife fled to China and later moved via Singapore to the United States, where they are still believed to be living. Taiwan has put them on a most-wanted list until 2031. The Rebar founder was one of Taiwan’s most prominent business leaders and served on the ruling Kuomintang’s Central Standing Committee.

Updated : 2021-05-14 17:55 GMT+08:00