Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - Page 2 News List

High Court upholds conviction against cosmetics fraudster

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The High Court yesterday upheld a conviction against Liao Ching-yu (廖璟妤) for defrauding more than 100 people through online sales of Japanese cosmetics.

The court handed the 37-year-old a 32-month jail sentence on multiple counts of aggravated fraud after prosecutors found that she had made more than NT$8 million (US$258,858 at the current exchange rate) through “purchasing agent” schemes over more than a decade.

The case started in 2015, when more than 20 people filed police reports against Liao claiming that they were defrauded out of more than NT$2 million.

During the investigation, 10 more people reported that she cheated them out of about NT$1 million, the ruling statement said.

Investigators said that she set up Facebook pages and e-commerce sites under various aliases, which she advertised as specializing in Japanese brand-name cosmetics and sundry goods.

A woman surnamed Chen (陳) in July 2015 transferred millions of New Taiwan dollars to Liao’s account to purchase brand-name sunscreen, lotion, facial toner, lip balm, eye treatment masks and other cosmetic products, prosecutors said.

Chen said that she bought several thousand units of each item and planned to resell them, as Liao led her to believe that she had direct connections to the manufacturers.

However, while Chen had paid for more than 10,000 units of a popular type of “spa treatment” anti-aging eye mask, she only received 20, they said.

Liao told Chen that she had sent all 10,000 items by mail before severing contact, prosecutors said.

Liao was in 2007 convicted of a similar online shopping scheme, for which she served a one-year sentence, but after getting out of prison sold 52 people fraudulent tickets for concerts by popular Taiwanese and Japanese singers for about NT$5 million, they said.

Liao was in 2015 handed a 13-month jail term for the concert ticket and cosmetics schemes, but fled to Japan. She was arrested after she returned to Taiwan in February 2017 and prosecuted for aggravated fraud offenses.

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