Sat, Mar 03, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Catch Power 14 charged with fraud

By Ting Wei-chieh and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A woman makes a purchase at a Catch Power self-service store at a Mass Rapid Transit station in Taipei on Mar. 18 last year.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

Former Catch Power president Sun Yueh-tse (孫岳澤), his wife, Lee Hsin-chieh (李欣潔), and 12 others were yesterday indicted by the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office on charges of contravening the Banking Act (銀行法).

The couple is accused of defrauding more than 500 people of up to NT$18.8 billion (US$641.9 million) over the past 10 years, prosecutors said.

In 2007, Sun allegedly said that his company, Xuan Xuan International (萱萱), was authorized by Walt Disney Taiwan to produce Disney dolls, they said.

The firm was seeking investors as it had received multiple orders and promised a monthly return of 2 percent of the company income per month, prosecutors said.

Sun allegedly repeated the process in 2012, they said.

In 2015, Sun allegedly proposed a business called Catch Power, an online shopping platform that would use “smart” lockers to deliver goods, promising between 2 and 7 percent returns, they said.

Sun allegedly used Xuan Xuan to scam Tseng Kuo-hu (曾國護) and Hsu Ming-huan (許明環) out of NT$419 million, saying he had a store at Shanghai Disney Resort, they said.

Sun allegedly recieved NT$556 million by persuading investors to buy shares in Xuan Xuan, prosecutors added.

In March last year, multiple checks issued by Sun bounced due to insufficient funds.

“Accounts show a total of NT$10 billion, and daily interest accrued is impossible,” he allegedly wrote on Facebook, alerting investors to his financial situation, prosecutors said.

Sun closed his Facebook account and traveled to Hong Kong before settling in China, allegedly to escape his legal responsibilities, they said.

In May last year, Sun reopened his Facebook account and said he was “a victim of loan-sharking,” adding that he had asked his lawyers in Hong Kong to forward his account records and evidence of his innocence to prosecutors in Taiwan.

However, prosecutors said they have not received any documents, adding that Sun’s exact location is unknown.

Sun’s alleged victims created a Facebook page called “Catch Power Victim Alliance” and accused him of hiding the alleged illicit gains under an account in the name of his mother, Sun Tsai Mei-hui (孫蔡美惠).

Over the course of the investigation, the assets and bank accounts of all the suspects, including NT$16.7 million in Sun Yueh-tse’s account, NT$2.7 million in the account of another suspect, surnamed Wong (翁), and NT$1 million in the account of another suspect, surnamed Wang (王), were frozen, prosecutors said.

“We have frozen all real-estate assets belonging to the suspects and have asked the court to determine whether the assets could be given to victims as compensation or should be confiscated,” prosecutors said.

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