TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Supreme Court on Tuesday (Aug. 31) upheld the prison sentences of a father and son who participated in the suicide of their respective wife and mother in order to make a fraudulent insurance claim.
According to the court verdict, Yeh Chih-ping (葉治萍) colluded with her husband Chen Cheng-hsien (陳政賢) to sacrifice her life for an insurance claim, which the couple planned to use to pay off her huge debts and to provide for their second son, Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏), CNA reported. In order to back up their claim, the couple invited their son to witness the suicide and confirm it was an accident.
On April 24, 2017, the three chose a spot near the 7.5-kilometer mark on Provincial Highway 7 as the site for the “accident” to happen. Yeh first took a few landscape photos and then jumped off the highway’s 16-meter-deep side slope to her death in front of her husband and son.
After the suicide, the father called the police and told them that his wife accidentally fell off the slope while admiring the scenery.
After the autopsy on Yeh was completed, police and prosecutors found some suspicious details surrounding the alleged fatal accident, including the woman's past and the fact that Yeh had bought a life insurance policy at a high premium before she died.
After carrying out further investigation, the authorities determined it was a case of insurance fraud.
In the first and second trials, the father and son were sentenced to jail terms of three years and one year and six months, respectively, for participating in the assisted suicide.
In the third trial, the Taiwan High Court noted that Chen Chun-hung had passed the Senior Civil Service Exam and had been working for the Taoyuan City Government before committing the crime.
Considering that the son had been taking care of his mother for a long time but was persuaded by his mother and father to participate in the plot, the judges sentenced him to one year and two months of imprisonment. His father was also given a lighter sentence, with two years and six months of imprisonment.
The defendants appealed the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which on Tuesday turned down the appeal and upheld the lower court’s decisions.