Thu, Feb 23, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors question Liu over US labor fraud case

Staff Writer, with CNA

Prosecutors yesterday questioned Jacqueline Liu (劉姍姍), the Taiwanese diplomat who was deported from the US last week in a labor fraud case.

The procedure was part of an investigation into whether Taiwan has the power to try the case involving Liu, former director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Kansas City, Missouri, prosecutors said.

They said they would also look into allegations that Liu may have embezzled public funds.

Liu was arrested in the US on Nov. 10 last year for allegedly overworking and underpaying two Filipina housekeepers.

In an FBI affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Liu was accused of paying her housekeepers US$450 a month when the contract called for a monthly salary of US$1,240. Liu also forced the housekeepers to work 16 to 18 hours a day.

Under a plea bargain agreement, she pleaded guilty to the charges in exchange for being sentenced to time served and paying US$80,044 in restitution to the housekeepers.

She was also given a deportation order and returned to Taiwan on Wednesday last week.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs suspended Liu on Friday after completing an investigation into the case.

The ministry determined that there were “serious administrative lapses” in her handling of the labor contracts and that her misconduct had damaged Taiwan’s image.

However, it said it did not find any evidence that Liu had embezzled public funds.

The ministry had said previously that it only reimbursed Liu the US$450 per month for her housekeepers plus US$140 for groceries, rather than the US$1,240 called for in the housekeepers’ contracts.

Liu’s lawyer, Hung Wen-chun (洪文浚), said Taiwanese prosecutors decided to open a probe into Liu’s case because it had not been thoroughly investigated in the US.

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