The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday gave Ruentex Group chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) a deferred prosecution for his role in the alleged state funds embezzlement case made against former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Division (SID) on June 30 last year indicted Lee and his aide, Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), accusing the pair of siphoning US$7.8 million to establish the Taiwan Research Institute (TRI) when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attempted to reimburse secret diplomatic funds between 1998 and 1999.
The SID claimed the pair embezzled money from a secret 49 million rand donation (then worth US$10.5 million) that had been set aside in May 1994 to give to the ruling party of a then-diplomatic ally, reportedly South Africa’s African National Congress.
The prosecution claims Liu, with Lee’s apparent approval, laundered NT$250 million (US$8.3 million) in American Express travelers checks that were given to Yin, who then, along with several of his company’s subsidiaries, made personal donations to the TRI.
The SID said Yin was suspected of violating the Business Accounting Act (商業會計法) and of committing forgery, and it turned him over to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further investigation.
The prosecutors’ office yesterday said that since Yin had donated NT$600 million to academics, religious and charitable organizations over the years, and had promised to give another NT$10 million to charities during the investigation, prosecutors decided to grant him a deferred prosecution.
Prosecutors added Yin had admitted to laundering the money and expressed his regret. They also said Yin had to make the NT$10 million donation within three months.