Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Mother-daughter team found guilty of extortion

KOO'S SHAME?Teng Hsiang-mei said that she received hush money from Koo Chen-fu for years, including, since the mid-1990s, cash payments of NT$205,000 per month

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A mother-daughter team who claimed to be the mistress and child of late Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) were both found guilty of extortion yesterday by the Shilin District Court.

"While Teng Hsiang-mei (鄧香妹) was sentenced to five years in prison, her daughter Chang Yi-hua (張怡華) was sentenced to two years and six months for demanding hush money from the Koo family," the Shilin District Court said in a ruling yesterday.

The two were convicted under the Law of Obtaining Property by Threats (恐嚇取財罪) because Chang and her mother Teng had threatened and harassed the Koo family, the ruling said.

Teng and Chang's lawyer yesterday told the press the pair would appeal the case in the Taiwan High Court.

Teng and Chang were both indicted last year by prosecutors, after DNA tests failed to establish any kinship between Chang and Koo.

Teng's first confession came at the end of their trial late last month in Shilin District Court. During the proceedings, Teng suddenly knelt down in front of the judges and admitted that her daughter was not Koo's.

Both mother and daughter pleaded with the court to give them a lighter sentence.

Chang said that she was innocent and that for the past 30 years she had believed she was Koo's daughter because her mother had told her this was the case.

However, prosecutors at the same hearing asked the court to give Teng a five year sentence and Chang a three year sentence because they had been "astute" and "devious" extortionists.

Teng said that she had received hush money from Koo for years. After Chang was born, Teng said, Koo gave Chang and Teng two apartments and -- since 1994 -- cash payments of NT$205,000 per month.

The two went public with their claims last year, when Koo's family refused to make any more payments after his death at 89.

According to Teng, 65, she first met Koo in 1964 when he was 48 and she was in her early 20s, and the two had a relationship until Koo's death.

Three years after Koo and Teng met, she had Chang, who is now 40.

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