TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Chang Shu-ching (張淑晶), 48, dubbed the "evil landlady" by local media outlets for swindling numerous tenants over the years, has been ordered to serve 7 months in jail, pay NT$2.7 million US$89,000) in compensation, and could face additional penalties for the death of an air conditioning repairman, reported Apple Daily.
In March of 2014, while working as the business manager of Chunghsing International Development Co. (中興國際開發公司) Chang dispatched a man surnamed Liao (廖) to an apartment in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District to install a frame to mount an air conditioning unit to the outside of the building. However, because she did not supply a helmet, safety rope, or other safety equipment, when the man stepped out on an old rain cover, he fell to his death. the high court ruled that she must serve 7 months in jail and could be subject to a NT$210,000 fine.
In a civil hearing in New Taipei, her company was ordered to pay NT$2.7 million in compensation to the children of Liao.
In the criminal case, in addition to Chang, her associate from the same company, Huang To (黃鐸), 55, was also sentenced to 8 months in prison, and could be subject to a fine of NT$240,000. In addition, the company has been ordered to pay a penalty of NT$60,000 for violating the Labor Safety and Health Act (勞工安全衛生法).
The judge pointed out that Huang was the proprietor of the company, while Chang was responsible for the firm's finances, business and other aspects.
On the morning of March 15, 2014, Chang dispatched Liao, 57, to install an air conditioning unit outside of an apartment on Fuying Road in Xinzhuang District. When Liao tried to stand on an old rain cover, it collapsed and he plummeted to the ground.
As a result of the fall, Liao suffered severe trauma to his head, multiple bone fractures, and internal bleeding. Three days after being rushed to the hospital, he was declared dead.
Two days later, the New Taipei Labor Inspection Office ordered the company to stop work on the air conditioning system, but Chang and Huang continued the work in secret. It is for this reason that they were in violation of the Labor Safety and Health Act, prosecutors said.
In court, Chang argued that she was not responsible for the company, but the judge found three former staff members who found that she was the actual investor and she would appear on the site and order staff to clean up the room.
The New Taipei City Prosecutor's Office has been investigating 44 charges against Chang since 2015 including fraud, false accusations, forgery, intimidation and other criminal acts. For her crimes she is potentially facing a sentence of 8 years in prison, while a judge has ordered that she return NT$492,000 in illegal income. Her former boyfriend allegedly is a senior member of the Tien Dao Meng Tien Yin Hui criminal gang.
At her peak, she allegedly leased up to 40 properties and then illegally converted them into studio apartments or office rentals in Daan District, Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Banqiao District where she charged rents ranging from NT$8,000 to NT$35,000. She has filed lawsuits against more than 60 tenants over rental disputes, most of which she has sought compensation for alleged damage to her properties or violations of rental contracts.