The Taipei District Court yesterday convicted a couple at the center of a case involving NT$47.2 billion (US$1.66 billion) of defaulted loans from 12 banks — touted as Taiwan’s largest-ever bank fraud case — and sentenced them to more than 20 years in prison.
Yang Wen-hu (楊文虎) and his wife, Wang Ying-chih (王音之), co-owners of Taipei-based New Site Industries (NSI), were sentenced to 26 years and 28 years respectively, while 34 of their employees and other people charged with colluding with them received shorter sentences, mostly less than four years.
It was the first ruling and can still be appealed.
The couple was found guilty of breaches of provisions in the Banking Act (銀行法) and the Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法) on defrauding, as well as other charges.
The court is also requiring Yang to pay back NT$600 million and Wang to pay back NT$650 million.
Cooperation from US law enforcement helped in extraditing the couple back to Taiwan earlier this year.
In June 2019, after the investigation was launched, the couple fled to the US to evade prosecution, but Yang was returned in January last year and Wang in March.
NSI traded internationally in petrochemicals, plastics and textiles, as well as fabric and industrial polyester products, but investigators found that the couple had set up shell companies in China and other countries so that they could generate fake transaction records and fund transfers to defraud banks.
Investigators found that in 2010, the couple and other company executives began to falsify company financial reports and forge company checks.
The defendants generated more than 1,000 false transaction records to obtain NT$38.6 billion in loans from nine banks — Taiwan Business Bank, DBS Bank, O-Bank Co, Yuanta Commercial Bank, First Commercial Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, E.Sun Commercial Bank, Hua Nan Commercial Bank and Mega International Commercial Bank — before defaulting on the loans, they said.
Prosecutors said that in 2008 and 2009, they generated 633 false transaction records to obtain NT$8.6 billion in loans from three other banks — CTBC Bank, Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank and Land Bank of Taiwan — before defaulting on the loans.
“Yang and Wang were found to have instructed firm executives and employees how to generate false financial records, as well as how to issue fake invoices, shipping documents, company checks and other documents,” the court’s decision said. “Together with colluding firms and contractors, they deceived a total of 12 banks with false business activities to obtain NT$47.2 billion in bank loans.”
“To this date, NSI still has more than NT$430 million in outstanding debts — funds that were spent on operation costs, along with real-estate deals and other investments, allowing the couple’s family to live a life of luxury with extravagant spending,” it said.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan