Taipei prosecutors are investigating prominent cosmetic doctor Paul Huang (黃博健) and his wife, Internet celebrity Su Chen Tuan (蘇陳端), better known as Lady Nai Nai (貴婦奈奈), for alleged financial fraud, after they left Taiwan on a flight to the US, with local media reporting that they might be “hiding” on Canada’s Prince Edward Island.
Huang, 38, and Su Chen, 44, have been accused of defrauding clients and friends of about NT$ 1 billion (US$32.42 million), some of which people invested in Ab initio Medicina (杏立博全), an upscale cosmetic surgery clinic in Taipei, and two other businesses operated by the couple.
Debtors and clients who made advance payments for seminars and medical treatment have formed a victims’ association and filed criminal complaints, while Taipei prosecutors confirmed that they are investigating fraud charges against the couple.
Prosecutors summoned the couple for questioning and barred them from leaving the country after they failed to appear, as their Taipei clinic and other businesses had been shut down without warning last week and they had not paid their employees.
However, immigration officials at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport confirmed that the couple had boarded a flight bound for San Francisco on Nov. 30.
Investigators said that the couple had made plans for their escape after transferring about NT$1 billion to foreign bank accounts, laundered some of the money and only declared bankruptcy for Ab initio Medicina after emigrating.
Paul Huang’s father, Huang Li-hsiung (黃立雄), is a leading expert in obstetrics, while his elder brother Huang Po-hao (黃博浩) is a surgeon at National Taiwan University Hospital.
After the case received media attention, Huang Li-hsiung also disappeared, with reports saying that a number of family members had also flown to the US over the past week and that all of them held US or Canadian passports.
A man surnamed Chen (陳), who said he was a fraud victim, told reporters that the couple was on Prince Edward Island, where they own a house.
The purchase showed that they had been scheming to illegally transfer assets to Canada, as they had acquired citizenship there, Chen said.
The family members are followers of the Bliss and Wisdom Foundation (福智佛教基金會), a Taiwanese Buddhist organization, and Huang Li-hsiung is a major financial backer of the organization’s leader, who is a relative, Chen said.
The foundation has established overseas headquarters on the island and encouraged followers to transfer their assets there, which could qualify them for Canadian citizenship through the Immigrant Investor Program, he added.
Lady Nai Nai on Saturday closed her popular blog and Facebook fan page, issuing an apology in which she asked people to give the couple time to resolve “the current urgent matter,” adding that they had “encountered the most difficult situation.”
The statement denied that the couple “took the money and ran,” saying that they “had to give up the business, because our lives were under threat.”
Reports said that among the victims were some patients, who were asked to pay in advance for plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments.
The couple over the years accumulated large debts and had to borrow money to pay the interest and avoid defaulting on their loans, they added.
‘CROCODILE TEARS’: The Taiwan Statebuilding Party said the Kaohsiung mayor was only apologizing after a poll revealed that 45% of the city’s residents favored a recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election. Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19. He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said. Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures. At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the
Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) on Saturday urged the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Japanese colonial-era Showa Building (昭和樓) a cultural heritage site to protect it from being demolished. Wu made the remarks after the department on Tuesday last week visited the building to evaluate it for preservation, a standard procedure before a public building that is more than 50 years old is razed. The Showa Building, on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 2, was a rare kind of office building when it was constructed in 1942, Wu said. The three-story building was built with reinforced concrete and has European-style
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to