Thu, Oct 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Police bust invoice lottery fraud ring

By Jason Pan  /  Staff Reporter

Police officers escort Fan Tsung-jen out of the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Central Taiwan Office in Taichung on Tuesday.

Photo: Chang Jui-chen, Taipei Times

Taichung police on Tuesday busted a criminal operation that allegedly used fraudulent receipts to claim winnings from the uniform invoice lottery.

Fan Tsung-jen (范宗任), 30, the alleged mastermind of the operation, and a computer programmer surnamed Yang (楊) were detained after questioning by prosecutors, who said they would bring fraud charges against the men.

Eighteen other suspects were released after questioning, police said.

Criminal Investigation Bureau officials said that Fan in June established an e-commerce firm, which served as a shell company for him and his associates to issue more than 1 million bogus electronic receipts.

Fan allegedly had his associates and girlfriends open accounts and store the receipts on digital mobile wallets to claim prize money by matching numbers in the invoice lottery, said Lai Ying-men (賴英門), captain of the 5th Investigation Corps at the bureau’s Central Taiwan Office.

Fan’s company had issued a total of 1.2 million electronic receipts over the past few months, claiming NT$2.12 million (US$68,458) in prize money, Lai said.

Officials at the National Taxation Bureau for Central Taiwan said that they became suspicious when they noticed that Fan’s company had issued more than 1 million receipts, mostly in July and August, for amounts of NT$1 to NT$4.

An investigation team comprised of tax officials, prosecutors and bureau officials obtained search warrants to conduct raids and gather evidence at several locations earlier this week.

Fan had posed as a “playboy” living in an upscale condominium in Taichung, drove a BMW and bought lavish gifts to entice young women, who then willingly helped him claim prize money and let him use their bank accounts, Lai said.

When the suspects were brought in for questioning, 10 of them claimed to be Fan’s girlfriend, as they did not know he was dating them simultaneously, he said

Fan had promised to pay the women 10 to 30 percent of the prize money, and had been paying Yang NT$40,000 per month for software that produced invoice numbers and the bogus electronic receipts, Lai said.

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