TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man in Taoyuan City has been found guilty of tricking his parents into giving him money by posing as a student at top-ranking universities in Taiwan and abroad.
The 35-year-old, surnamed Kuo (郭), was sentenced to 10 months in jail on Friday (Feb. 19) by Taoyuan District Court on charges of fraud and document forgery. The court found that he had taken NT$165,000 (US$5,908) from his parents between 2007 and 2013 by convincing them of his forged academic success.
According to prosecutors, Kuo began cheating his parents out of their money in 2007. He lied to them about having successfully transferred to National Taiwan University (NTU) from a private technology college in which he had enrolled three years earlier.
He showed them a fake student ID and told them that he was taking master's and Ph.D. courses at the top institution. In 2009, Kuo deceived his parents again by telling them that he was moving to the U.S. and Canada to pursue advanced studies. He said he needed money for tuition and living expenses.
His scheme did not fall apart until 2017 when his parents became suspicious and contacted NTU to verify his degrees. Upon realizing that he had been using fake diplomas and work certificates to steal money from them, Kuo's parents filed a complaint against him, demanding that he return NT$10 million, the amount they argued that he had taken.
During a court hearing, Kuo admitted forging a fake student ID but denied having stolen money from his parents. He insisted that he was only taking money his parents had owed him for the free work he did at their temple since a child.
Meanwhile, Kuo's parents said they were very proud of their son and did not realize that he was lying. They said that they even attended a graduation ceremony for him at NTU, reported CNA.