The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday said it had no solid evidence to show that TV host Pai Ping-ping (白冰冰) committed fraud and illegal appropriation of government subsidies in the production of a TV variety show and that the prosecutors’ office decided not to indict Pai.
Veteran actress Kuo Mei-chu (郭美珠) and several senior entertainers in January filed a lawsuit with the district prosecutors’ office against Pai.
They said Pai is suspected of pocketing NT$19.5 million (US$670,000) in government subsidies intended for the production of the TV variety show Ha Ha Laughing Every Day (天天哈哈笑) in 2010, which featured their work, but they did not receive the wages shown on the receipts submitted by Pai.
They said the TV variety show was only produced for two seasons with 120 episodes, and the rest of the subsidies went to Pai’s pocket.
They added the subsidy money was for the government to take care of elderly entertainers.
Prosecutors said approached by reporters, Pai publicized accounting receipts of the production of the show to response Kuo’s accusations. However Kuo submitted Pai’s information to prosecutors and accused Pai of embezzling government subsidies.
Prosecutors said the accounting receipts were written by Pei from memory, but according to official accounting receipts that Pai delivered to then Government Information Office in 2010, which was verified by accouters, the formal receipts did not show any evidence of Pai embezzling public funds.
During the investigation, actress Tian Lu-lu (田路路) and singer Liu Yen-yen (劉燕燕) was among those called to testify.
They said when they went on the variety show, they were paid NT$10,000 each time, and each show had at most four or five veteran entertainers, for a total of at most NT$80,000.
Pai submitted costs of NT$280,000 for subsidies, and they did not see how Pai could have come up with that amount, seniors entertainers added.
Additional reporting by staff writer