Sat, Feb 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Businesspeople named as defendants in Chen case

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutors yesterday named four businesspeople as defendants in the money-laundering case involving detained former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his family.

Yuanta Financial Holding Co president Victor Ma (馬維建) and the company’s chief operating officer Michael Ma (馬維辰) were named as defendants on suspicion of helping Chen and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), transfer money to overseas accounts, Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel Spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) told reporters.

Prosecutors said Victor Ma was suspected of wiring NT$240 million (US$7.1 million) and another US$10 million to Switzerland to buy bonds and other financial instruments in 2006 under instructions from Wu.

Wu later asked Victor Ma to cash the bonds and deposit the money in Swiss accounts belonging to her son Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚).

The two Mas also allegedly wired US$180,000 to foreign accounts in the name of Wu’s friend Tsai Ming-che (蔡銘哲), prosecutors said.

China Development Financial Holding Corp president Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) and chief financial officer Sherie Chiu (邱德馨) were also named as defendants in the money-laundering case, Chen Yun-nan said.

Prosecutors said Angelo Koo and Chiu allegedly helped Wu Shu-jen transfer US$600,000 from a Taiwanese account in the name of Wu’s elder brother Wu Ching-mao (吳景茂) to an account in Singapore in June 2003.

In April 2004, Wu Shu-jen allegedly gave Koo US$1 million, asking him to help transfer the money to Wu Ching-mao’s and Chen Chih-chung’s foreign accounts, prosecutors said.

Chen Yun-nan said that while former Chinatrust Financial Holding Co vice chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒) was a witness to the alleged money-laundering, he was also a defendant in another case involving the former first family.

The spokesman said prosecutors have asked the National Immigration Bureau to inform them if Angelo Koo and former China Steel Corp chairman Lin Wen-yuan (林文淵) attempted to leave the country. Lin, who was also named as a defendant in the investigations, was in charge of Chen Shui-bian’s campaign funds during the 2000 presidential election.

Chen Shui-bian, his wife, son and daughter-in-law were indicted on Dec. 12 on charges of corruption, money laundering, embezzlement and forgery.

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