The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday closed an insider trading case involving the husband of talk show hostess Dee Hsu (徐熙娣, better known as Little S) by bringing a total of four defendants to the Taipei District Court.
Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Huang Mo-hsin (黃謀信) said Mike Xu (許雅鈞), Dee Hsu’s husband, and Xu’s father, Xu Ching-hsiang (許慶祥), as well as Genome International Biomedical Co chairman Hsu Hsun-ping (徐洵平) and Hsu Hsun-ping’s wife, company supervisor Chiang Lee-fen (姜麗芬), were charged with violations of the insider-trading clause of the Securities Exchange Act (證券交易法).
Prosecutors decided that Dee Hsu was not involved in the case and she was therefore not indicted, Huang said.
Prosecutors requested that Mike Xu, who denies any involvement in the case, be given a heavy sentence, Huang said, adding that the other three defendants, on the other hand, had all admitted their guilt and had handed over the funds they made from the illegal trading and therefore prosecutors asked the court to hand down more lenient sentences.
Huang said both Mike Xu and Xu Ching-hsiang held shares in Genome International.
Huang said in the middle of last year, after the learning that Genome International was not performing as well as expected, the defendants sold large quantities of shares within the space of a few days to avoid making a loss.
The spokesman said Hsu Hsun-ping and his wife pocketed NT$12.32 million (US$410,000) from the illegal trading, Xu Ching-hsiang made NT$6.57 million and Mike Xu took home NT$13.01 million.
Except for Mike Xu, the other three have handed over the funds, Huang said.
The case was brought to light when prosecutors were investigating false advertising by the Top Pot Bakery chain that it did not use artificial flavorings in its products. That case caused an outcry in August last year when the firm admitted that it had been using artificial flavoring products it advertised as “all-natural.”
Prosecutors later came to suspect executives at its parent company — Genome International — of insider trading.
Huang said former Top Pot Bakery chairman Chuang Hung-ming (莊鴻銘) had been charged with fraud and that prosecutors had suspended his indictment.
Huang said Chuang would have to pay NT$1 million, serve 120 hours community service and donate 5,000 loaves of bread to disadvantaged groups.
Dee Hsu was questioned by prosecutors as a witness in the Top Pot Bakery case, as well as the insider trading case, as she had endorsed the brand in which her husband held a stake.