Prosecutors question ‘Little S’ over Top Pot, insider trading

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Oct 12, 2013 - Page 3

Television entertainer Dee Hsu (徐熙娣), better known as Little S (小S), was questioned by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday as a witness in the Top Pot Bakery scandal, as well as over another case allegedly implicating her husband and father-in-law in insider trading.

The Top Pot Bakery chain — which Hsu had endorsed and in which Hsu’s husband, Mike Xu (許雅鈞), held shares — caused public anger in late August when it admitted that it has been using artificial flavoring in products it advertised as “all-natural.”

While the prosecutors investigated the Top Pot Bakery on suspicion of fraud, they discovered that its parent company, Genome International, allegedly violated the insider-trading clause of the Securities Exchange Act (證券交易法).

Further investigation into the issue by the office found that Genome International chairman Hsu Hsun-ping (徐洵平), supervisor Chiang Lee-fen (姜麗芬), chief financial officer Huang Hsiao-ling (黃筱玲), as well as Xu and his father, Xu Ching-hsiang (許慶祥), had allegedly sold company stock that they owned — a total of 1,500,000 shares — at a point when the company’s stock price was at a high of NT$100 per share, before the company released a statement that it was doing poorly and the share price dropped.

The five suspects are said to have avoided financial losses totaling nearly NT$60 million (US$2 million) by allegedly selling their shares before the statement was released.

Following questioning by prosecutors last week, Hsu Hsun-ping (徐洵平) was released on NT$5 million bail and Xu on NT$2 million bail, while Xu’s father and Chiang posted NT$3 million bail each, and Huang posted NT$200,000 bail.

Dee Hsu, who is often seen in advertisements endorsing various products, was questioned yesterday for about 90 minutes.

When she left the prosecutors’ office at 12:15pm, Dee Hsu looked slightly stressed and appeared to have tears in her eyes.

In response to reporters’ questions, she only said that she thanked everyone for their support.