Taipei 101 ex-chairman faces 12 years in prison and massive fine

Taipei 101 ex-chairman faces 12 years in prison and massive fine

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Taipei 101 Chairman and President Harace Lin should spend 12 years in prison and pay a fine of NT$400 million (US$13.7 million) for embezzlement from an unrelated company, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The Taipei Prosecutors Office charged Lin with pocketing more than NT$100 million (US$3.4 million) from Chin Shang Chang Development Co., Ltd. The list of charges included violations of the Securities and Exchange Act and the Business Accounting Act, as well as money laundering and forgery, reports said.
He has been detained since September 26, but prosecutors were likely to file an application with a court Friday to extend his detention by two months, reports said.
A top manager at Chin Shang Chang and two officials at the Hung Kuo Group, where Lin served as vice chairman, were also charged, though one of them reportedly provided evidence against Lin to prosecutors and could benefit from lower sentences, while another was a Lin associate who could also receive better treatment if she cooperated.
Prosecutors said that once the case broke, Lin invited the other defendants to his office at Taipei 101 to have Hung Kuo’s legal adviser of 20 years instruct them how to present the story to investigators. During questioning by prosecutors, Lin repeatedly denied any involvement with Chin Shang Chang as well as irregular stock market practices.
Since his attitude was bad, prosecutors said they decided to ask the court for a heavy sentence for the former chief of one of the country’s most famous buildings.
Chin Shang Chang reportedly loaned NT$1.8 billion (US$62 million) from the China United Trust and Investment Corporation in 1999 using a plot of land in Tamshui, New Taipei City, as collateral.
Because Chin Shang Chang never repaid the loan, CUTIC decided to sell the land to another construction company for NT$1.2 billion (US$41.3 million). As the transaction never appeared on the books of Chin Shang Chang, prosecutors suspected the company had violated the Securities and Exchange Act by pocketing the NT$600 million difference.
Lin’s involvement with Chin Shang Chang was only discovered later after interrogations of suspects and raids on offices.
The former Taipei 101 chief, whose family business is the Hung Kuo Group, was credited with turning losses at the world’s former tallest office building into profits, mainly by attracting more Chinese tourists to its luxury shopping mall.
After Lin’s departure, Christina Sung took over as chairwoman of Taipei 101 and Ting Hsin International Group Chairman Wei Ying-chiao as president and vice chairman.

Updated : 2021-02-27 15:44 GMT+08:00