Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Chang Guann boss Yeh hospitalized after suicide bid

APPEAL REJECTED:Yeh Wen-hsiang is under police guard in an intensive care ward at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital

By Fang Chih-hsien, Hung Chen-hung and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Chang Guann Co Ltd chairman Yeh Wen-hsiang lies on a hospital bed the the emergency room of Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital yesterday after an apparent suicide bid.

Photo: Fang Chih-hsien, Taipei Times

Chang Guann Co Ltd (強冠企業) chairman Yeh Wen-hsiang (葉文祥) was hospitalized yesterday after an apparent suicide bid, one day after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal against a 22-year prison sentence over a 2014 tainted oil scandal.

At press time last night, Yeh was being treated in the intensive care unit at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, but was reportedly not in critical condition.

Yeh was dejected after learning that he had lost his last appeal and had left home alone to talk with a friend, a Kaohsiung Police Department source said.

He later reportedly drank detergent and family members rushed him to the hospital’s emergency room, the source said.

Yeh sustained chemical burns to his throat, but his condition was not critical, the source said.

He is under police guard at the intensive care unit and is accompanied by a middle-aged woman who appears to be a family member.

Police officers at the hospital asked reporters to leave.

Chang Guann was a respected food oils producer until the scandal, which began when local authorities were tipped off that the company’s subcontractor was producing oils from waste products.

In 2015, the Pingtung District Court convicted Yeh and Chang Guann general manager Tai Chi-chuan (戴啟川) of aggravated fraud and counterfeiting food products and sentenced Yeh to 20 years in prison with four years commutable to a fine.

Yeh last year lost his appeal to the Taiwan High Court, which convicted him on 285 counts of Criminal Code offenses and increased his sentence to 22 years in prison with five years commutable to a fine. It sentenced Tai to 18 years in prison with four years commutable to a fine.

The High Court ruled that Yeh and Tai had committed separate crimes for selling tainted lard to 285 food industry operators.

It also fined the company NT$120 million (US$3.99 million at the current exchange rate) and ordered the confiscation of an additional NT$81.5 million on the grounds that the money was the proceeds of criminal activities.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to hear Yeh’s appeal on grounds of insufficient reason to reconsider the case.

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