The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Tainan County council speaker Wu Chien-pao (吳健保), upholding his 10-year prison sentence for baseball match-fixing and other charges.
Wu had fled to the Philippines in 2014 after he was convicted for fixing CPBL games — as well as charges of corruption, fraud, intimidation and blackmail, and profiteering from illegal excavation — but was arrested in January last year and extradited to Taiwan with cooperation from the Philippine authorities.
The court’s ruling, which was final and cannot be appealed, upheld the High Court’s 2009 conviction.
Wu and his collaborator, Tsai Cheng-yi (蔡政宜), known as the “Windshield Wiper,” headed an underground gambling syndicate that many fans say “ruined Taiwanese baseball.”
The case, which came to light more than a decade ago, had implicated several leading CPBL figures, including players and coaches, in match-fixing and illegal betting dating back to the 1990s, and nearly caused the CPBL to fold.
New Taipei City prosecutors found that Wu and Tsai in 2006 started offering CPBL teams money, sexual services and expensive gifts to entice players to throw games. They then reaped huge profits through betting pools that Tsai ran, while Wu provided financial backing to operate the affair.
As investigation’s findings were revealed, CTBC Group terminated its ownership of the Chinatrust Whales in November 2008, and it nearly caused the La New Bears (now the Rakuten Monkeys) and Brother Elephants (now the CTBC Brothers) to disband.
Players indicted in the scandal included former Major League Baseball pitcher Tsao Chin-hui (曹錦輝), who had returned to join the Elephants, along with Elephants hitters Chen Chih-yuan (陳致遠) and Tsai Fong-an (蔡豐安), former Saitama Seibu Lions and Bears pitcher Chang Chih-chia (張誌家), and several top players of the Whales.
Wu was known as a powerful KMT politician in southern Taiwan, and as Tainan County council speaker and councilor he frequently clashed with then-Tainan mayor William Lai (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party.
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