Thu, Nov 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Court orders ex-FAT executives to pay NT$241.61 million

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered former Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) executives and associates to pay NT$241.61 million (US$7.81 million) in compensation to its investors who sued the airline over its financial mismanagement in 2008.

FAT lost about NT$2.3 billion from illegal asset transfers, embezzlement and selling shares of a subsidiary at unreasonably low prices, in addition to other illicit transactions, the plaintiffs said.

Then-FAT chairman Stephen Tsuei (崔湧) and president Philip Chen (陳尚群) were indicted as the main figures along with other executives for contravening the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法), Business Entity Accounting Act (商業會計法) and other regulations.

Tsuei and Chen fled Taiwan in 2009 and 2011 respectively, prompting police to issue wanted bulletins for their arrest.

A total of 331 investors who had lost money in the case filed a class-action lawsuit under the quasi-governmental Securities and Futures Investors Protection Center, which called on 23 defendants to pay compensation of NT$248.76 million.

After eight years of litigation, the court ordered the defendants to pay compensation, but ruled that the new owners of FAT are only liable for 3 percent of the losses and only have to pay NT$8.89 million.

The Civic Aeronautics Administration suspended FAT’s operations in 2008. The following year, the airline was recapitalized by real-estate tycoon Chang Kang-wei (張綱維), who later established a business conglomerate, FAT Group, to operate the airline.

FAT mostly operates domestic flights to outlying islands and has targeted second-tier cities for its international network.

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