Harace Lin (林鴻明), the former chairman of Taipei Financial Center Corp, operator of Taipei 101, was indicted yesterday by Taipei prosecutors on suspicion of embezzling more than NT$1 billion (US$34.5 million) from Jin Shang Chang Development Co.
Lin is a vice chairman of Hung Kuo Real Estate Development Corp and the owner of Jin Shang Chang Development Co.
Lin was charged with violations of the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法) and the Business Entity Accounting Act (商業會計法) in committing fraud, money laundering and forgery.
Prosecutors requested that the Taipei District Court sentence him to 12 years in prison and fine him NT$400 million.
Lin has been in custody for nearly four months. The district court is expected to hold a bail hearing soon.
Meanwhile, the vice general manager of Hung Kuo, Lin Nan-tsung (林南聰), was indicted on suspicion of helping Harace Lin use fraudulent practices to transfer funds and hollowing out company assets, prosecutors said.
Jin Shang Chang general manager Chen Chi-tsang (陳祈蒼) and chief financial officer Tung Tsui-hua (董翠華) were also indicted.
Prosecutors said Chen Chi-tsang has turned prosecution witness and they asked the court to give him a lengthy sentence.
Prosecutors alleged that Harace Lin took out corporate loans for NT$1.8 billion from China United Trust and Investment Corp in 1999 for property development dealings.
At the time, Lin had put up several tracts of land in Tamsui District (淡水), in what is now New Taipei City (新北市), as collateral for the loans, but the loans were never repaid.
To offload the bad debt, China United Trust and Investment sold the debt to several land development and construction firms, prosecutors said. However, Jin Shang Chang did not report the bad debt in its financial statements and Lin is suspected of hollowing out the assets of his company.