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Wed, Nov 07, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors indict KMT lawmaker

TIME WARP Investigators say that Liao Hwu-peng illegally altered the dates on 81 checks worth more than N$19.5 million so that they would all be cleared

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

PHOTO: CHU YU-PIN, TAIPEI TIMESN

Taipei prosecutors indicted a KMT lawmaker yesterday on check fraud charges and alleged he used his position to cover up the crime.

Prosecutors yesterday asked that Liao Hwu-peng (廖福本) be given eight years in prison.

Investigators say Liao wrote checks after being barred from doing so, and then told banking officials to alter the documents so the checks would be cleared.

On Aug. 11 last year, the Taipei Clearing House declared Liao's account to be "dishonored" after three of his checks had bounced.

The designation meant that Liao was barred from writing new checks and any items dated after Aug. 11 wouldn't be cleared.

But prosecutors say the lawmaker kept on writing checks after that date.

They say he threatened Pai Hui-hsiung (白輝雄), head of the clearing house, and Chao Lai (趙萊), manager of the Bank of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan branch, to change the checks to dates before Aug. 11.

In all, 81 checks worth more than NT$19.5 million were involved.

Liao yesterday said he was innocent of the charges and said the Bank of Taiwan should shoulder the blame.

The lawmaker said the bank on Sept. 14 of last year had informed him that his account had been declared a "dishonored" one. He said the bank had asked him to change the dates on items written after Aug. 11 so they would be cleared.

"So I gave them my stamp to do it," Liao said.

The lawmaker said he didn't understand what all the fuss was about, as the checks he wrote after Aug. 11 were paid.

"The checks I wrote after Aug. 11 were all cashed. I don't understand why the prosecutors want to indict me," he said.

Prosecutor Liu Cheng-wu (劉承武) said that Liao had used his position as a legislator to threaten bank clerks and told them to alter the checks for him.

Liu also said that Liao had asked his assistant, Soong Chun-lien (宋春蓮), to help.

"But he did it by himself as well," the prosecutor said. "Among the 81 checks, two of them were altered by Liao himself. It's quite ridiculous for him to do this as a lawmaker, especially when the bank is located inside the Legislative Yuan [building]."

In addition to Liao, prosecutors have also asked that Soong be sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison, Pai to three years and Chao to two years.

Prosecutors have also asked that Hsu Man-tzu (許滿足), a clerk at the Taipei Clearing House, be given two-and-a-half years; Chou Wei-tai (周偉台), assistant manager of the Bank of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan branch, be given two years; and bank clerks Tu Li-chu (杜麗珠) and Huang Bao-feng (黃寶芳) be given two years.

Last February, Liao was indicted for allegedly counterfeiting the stock certificates of Chimei Electronics and selling them to a man for NT$106 million. The case is still pending.

Liao has served six terms in the legislature, but he decided not to run in the Dec. 1 election after the KMT implemented more stringent rules on who could run under the party's banner.

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