The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted modeling agency owner Chao Chung-ling (趙崇伶) on suspicion of defrauding people through an entertainment business by pretending to promote concerts for South Korean pop groups, Hong Kong star Andy Lau (劉德華), Taiwanese bands and Singaporean musician J.J. Lin (林俊傑).
It is the latest legal trouble for Chao, listed proprietor of Taipei-based FD Model Co, which has represented prominent foreigners working in Taiwan, such as Brazilian-Japanese model and actress Akemi Katsuki and Russian actress and show host Anechka “Annie” Marchenko.
The indictment accuses Chao of defrauding six people who invested NT$4.84 million (US$159,200) in her business after she told them that she was bringing Lau to Taiwan last year for a concert.
In 2018, she also sought other investors, claiming to be the promoter for a concert tour of South Korean boy band VIXX, it stated.
An investigation found that Chao pitched the VIXX concert tour to a businessman surnamed Shih (施) and his two associates, seeking to persuade them to invest NT$3.99 million in advance of the tour to reserve concert venues and to promote the shows.
In January last year, Chao sought an investment of NT$800,000 from a businessman surnamed Lu (盧), telling him that she was bringing Lau to Taiwan for a concert, but the event never took place, the investigation showed.
Prosecutors said that they found receipts for money transfers from investors, signed business agreements with Chao’s company, conversations recorded on the social messaging app Line and other documented evidence against her.
She was charged with fraud and forgery, the prosecutors said.
Chao’s representation of Marchenko and Katsuki also ended in financial disputes. Marchenko filed a lawsuit against Chao in February last year, but Chao did not show up in court.
Last year, Chao was sued by a group of investors, who said that they lost NT$40 million. They believed that Chao was the local concert promoter for South Korean boy band BTS and Lin.
Another businessman last year sued Chao after he invested NT$6 million in a series of concert dates for Taiwanese hip-hop band 911.
He said that none of the concerts ever happened, but that Chao has kept making excuses for why she cannot repay the money.
According to investigators, some investors said that Chao sought to resolve their money disputes through negotiations and repayment plans.
Others told investigators that Chao had issued veiled threats, claiming that she was related to a boss in the Bamboo Union, one of the biggest organized crime gangs in Taiwan.
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