Prosecutors yesterday said they have been investigating hundreds of professors suspected of using fake receipts to claim public funds.
Prosecutors said the suspects from various universities nationwide claimed the subsidies from the Executive Yuan’s National Science Council. According to the prosecutors, the receipts were mostly for basic consumer goods which were unrelated to their research spending.
State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming (黃世銘) was quoted as saying in the Chinese-language China Times Weekly yesterday that professors who work at public schools are public servants and any who are found to have made suspicious claims would be charged with corruption, and not the lesser offense of fraud (詐欺罪), which would be leveled at the private university professors.
In a press statement yesterday, Huang confirmed that after meeting with the heads of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors’ Office, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, the Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office and prosecutors involved in the investigations, they agreed with a Supreme Court ruling that professors teaching at public universities counted as public servants.
In accordance with the law, public servants found guilty of corruption would receive a minimum sentence of seven years.
The China Times Weekly reported that nearly 1,000 professors are under investigation.
However, Huang said in the statement that as the cases are still under investigation, the weekly had no grounds for saying prosecutors would bring that many professors to trial.