Hu Gua and three others indicted in gambling scandal

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tue, May 23, 2006 - Page 2

Popular variety show host Hu Gua (胡瓜) was indicted yesterday for installing cameras at his residence to cheat other gamblers.

"Hu Gua, his brother Hu Chi-hsuan (胡技烜), Hu's friend Tien Shu-ling (田淑玲) and Hsu Chih-chung (許志煌) were indicted for fraud for cheating in mahjong games," Taipei District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑) said yesterday.

Lin said the four made NT$15,200,000 (US$472,880) in illegal profits.

Prosecutors said Hu Gua had used a luxury apartment on Dunhua South Road as a private mahjong casino.

In 2003, Hu's elder brother Hu Chi-hsuan asked his friend Hsu to install four hidden cameras in the apartment's ceiling.

During mahjong games, Hsu used the cameras to monitor players' tiles from a back room and used wireless radio to tell Hu Chi-hsuan what he saw. In this way, Hu Chi-hsuan was able to win almost every game, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that Hu Gua knew what was going on, and was involved.

When Tien, a frequent gambler at the apartment, discovered that she had been cheated, she asked Hu Gua to compensate her. Instead, he agreed to let her share in the spoils.

High-society dame Chen Jing-jing's (陳菁菁) mother, also a frequent visitor to the apartment, lost NT$13,200,000 in mahjong games in 2003.

She suspected she had been cheated and asked Hu Gua to return her money, but he refused.

Chen and her mother subsequently filed a lawsuit against Hu last November.