Twenty-two sent to prosecutors in academia probe

INVESTIGATION::After receiving a tip in June last year, prosecutors began an investigation that has since ensnared hundreds of professors nationwide

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jan 08, 2013 - Page 3

Taipei investigators yesterday said 22 professors and research assistants from three top universities were sent to Taipei prosecutors to decide whether to charge them with corruption and forgery for allegedly using false receipts to claim reimbursements.

The Taipei branch of the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau said it has been targeting about 300 professors and research assistants allegedly involved in using false receipts to claim reimbursements, and the 22 professors and research assistants sent to prosecutors yesterday were from National Taiwan University, National Chengchi University and National Taiwan Normal University.

Prosecutors said they received a tip in June last year that a professor surnamed Hung (洪) and an associate professor surnamed Chen (陳) at National Changhua University of Education had used false receipts they received from a New Taipei City (新北市) company, Kuo Yang Scientific Corp, to claim reimbursements from the school.

Investigators searched the university and the company and said they found that hundreds of professors nationwide were allegedly involved in the use of false receipts to claim reimbursements from their schools, the Ministry of Education or the National Science Council.

Changhua County prosecutors indicted 12 professors from four universities on Friday.

Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) yesterday said prosecutors had to look into the cases.

Huang said professors who work at public schools are public servants and any who are found to have made suspicious claims would be charged with corruption, and not the lesser offense of fraud.

If researchers used fake receipts to claim public funds and used the money on research, prosecutors would only charge them with forgery, but if they used public funds to buy personal goods, prosecutors will have to charge them with corruption, he said.