Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co (大統長基) chairman Kao Cheng-li (高振利) was yesterday sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Changhua District Court on charges of fraud and violation of the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) for adulterating the company’s edible oil products. Kao was detained immediately.
Kao’s lawyer said his client would appeal.
The district court said it took into consideration that the 61-year-old Kao might flee because he was given a heavy sentence in the first trial.
The court said the judges also discovered that Kao had recently received NT$95 million (US$3.2 million) in cash, which might be intended to fund an escape.
Kao did not appear for the ruling at the district court yesterday morning, but reported to a local police station in the afternoon. Kao was required by the court to report to his local police station twice every day since he was released on bail.
Police handcuffed him in the police station and took him to the district court to attend the hearing.
The district court sentenced Kao to 16 years in prison and he was fined NT$50 million.
The court said Kao has not shown remorse for harming the public’s health, and he had tried to cover up his offenses.
Kao’s attorneys said the sentence is surprisingly heavy and Kao would appeal the ruling with Taiwan High Court’s Taichung branch.
They added Kao had no intention of running away.
On Oct. 25, Kao was indicted on charges of fraud and violation of the Act Governing Food Sanitation for allegedly adulterating the company’s edible oil products.
The court said that for seven years, Kao’s company had blended edible oil products with chlorophyllin and cottonseed oil, which is cheaper than other edible oils and toxic if it is left unrefined.
The other defendants in the case, Wen Rui-pin (溫瑞斌) and Chou Kun-ming (周昆明) — both Kao’s employees — were sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison, and the court granted the two five years probation.
Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) chairman Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) has been indicted by the Taipei District Court over allegations that his company produced and marketed adulterated oil provided by Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co.
Ting Hsin recalled the 21 products — sold under the Wei Chuan (味全) brand — after Chang Chi’s oil was found to contain illicit substances.