Three members of a family in Taoyuan have been detained on allegations of insurance fraud, with the group suspected of claiming tens of millions of New Taiwan dollars in connection with three deaths.
At the center of the investigation is Chen Cheng-hsien (陳政賢), a Taoyuan resident whose wife, Yeh Chih-ping (葉治萍), died in suspicious circumstances in April.
The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office suspect that Chen and Yeh were the masterminds behind the fraudulent insurance claims.
A judge last night granted prosecutors’ request to detain Chen and Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏), one of Yeh’s two sons from a previous marriage, while the investigation continued.
Yeh fell to her death while sitting on a concrete roadside barrier on the Northern Cross-Island Highway in April, with Chen Cheng-hsien and Chen Chun-hung standing to collect NT$34 million (US$1.12 million) in insurance payouts.
The husband and the son said they were on a family outing, with Cheng Cheng-hsien driving that day. When they stopped for a rest, they said Yeh sat down to take a selfie with her smartphone, but fell backward into the ravine to her death.
As the husband and the son were the only witnesses to Yeh’s death, the police at the time filed it as an accident.
However, suspicion grew when it was found that the couple had purchased three life insurance policies for Yeh at three insurance companies late last year. Moreover, Yeh owed large sums of money due to failed investments.
Investigators said they became suspicious when they discovered that Yeh’s previous husband had died from drowning after reportedly falling backward while sitting on the barrier of an irrigation culvert last year.
Chen Cheng-hsien’s ex-wife also died from an apparent suicide after burning charcoal inside her residence 10 years ago.
Yeh collected NT$10 million in insurance payouts for her ex-husband’s apparent accidental death, which records show she spent within a few months.
Investigators said they are still looking into the insurance payout to Chen Cheng-hsien from his ex-wife’s death 10 years ago.
Yeh’s elder sister, Chen Hui-lin (陳慧齡), was also questioned by prosecutors yesterday in connection with insurance fraud. She was released after posting bail of NT$150,000.
Prosecutors said they would reopen the investigation into the deaths of the previous spouses of Yeh and Chen Cheng-hsien, as evidence points to the possibility of insurance fraud.
Prosecutors said there was evidence the family had discussed the possibility of faking a suicide because Yeh was heavily in debt.
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