Fri, Aug 14, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Pingtung Mayor Lin released on bail in probe over government funding

NON-PROFIT?The mayor and her husband are accused of setting up five non-profit organizations, which they used as a front to apply for subsidies from the city

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Pingtung Mayor Lin Ya-chun (林亞純) was released on bail of NT$300,000 (US$9270) yesterday after being summoned for questioning in a corruption investigation.

Lin’s husband, Chen chun-liang (陳俊良), was detained and held incommunicado on suspicion of siphoning off government funding subsidies.

Lin, 47, is one of the few Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates who won a mayoralty post in the nine-in-one elections in November last year.

Lin and her husband Chen are accused of setting up at least five non-profit organizations starting in 2011, which they used to apply for funding subsidies from the Pingtung City Government.

At the time, Lin was a city councilor and one of the leading figures in the KMT caucus.

Prosecutors alleged that the five organizations were a front only and did not hold membership meetings, but produced fraudulent meeting records and financial accounts, which enabled it to apply for at least NT$2.4 million in funding.

Documents seized by investigators show that Chen served as secretary-general of the five organizations — all listed as having the same address — which allegedly provided care and services for women’s and children’s groups, continuing education and talent training for disadvantaged groups.

A spokesperson at the Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office said Chen is accused of forgery and violating provisions of the Business Entity Accounting Act (商業會計法). Her husband is being held incommunicado to prevent the two from colluding or destroying evidence, the spokesperson said.

Chen allegedly made up bogus receipts on non-existent transactions for organization expenses, then claimed the money through his Lin, who was then a Pingtung city councilor.

Prosecutors said the evidence also showed that Chen falsified records and organization meeting minutes to claim that membership meetings were held.

The couple allegedly used some of the money to purchase five sets of sets of golf clubs, on the pretext of organizing golf training camps for young people, but no such activity was ever held, prosecutors said.

Lin did not appear at work yesterday and released a statement through her secretary, saying she respects the judicial investigation process and will cooperate by providing information to clear up the case.

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