Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) said he would not seek re-election next year amid pressure over his ties to a fraud suspect.
In a statement on Sunday night, the legislator representing Yilan County apologized to his family and supporters for his association with Tseng Kuo-wei (曾國緯), the founder of peer-to-peer lending platform im.B, which is being investigated for allegedly defrauding customers.
Eleven Yilan County councilors of the DPP on Friday signed a letter asking the party to clarify Chen’s involvement in the case and his relationship to the principal suspects.
Photo: Lo Pei-de, Taipei Times
“Earlier, I explained that I have no link to any criminal fraud ring. I was not aware of the whole situation when I accepted the company’s financial support,” he said. “I shall defend myself from false accusations. Therefore to defend myself, and protect our party’s election planning, I have decided to drop out of the legislative race.”
Chen and DPP officials have called for a thorough investigation into the case.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) figures have also been linked to the im.B scandal, including Taoyuan Mayor Simon Chang (張善政) and Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安).
Photographs have circulated showing Chang with Focal Healthcare chairman Chen Cheng-hsiu (陳正修). Tseng had served as general manager at Focal Healthcare.
Chang yesterday said he could not remember at which event the photograph was taken, as he meets many people while campaigning, and it would be wrong to connect him to the case based on just a picture.
Chiang told Taipei City councilors that he did not know Chen Cheng-hsiu, saying that they should present evidence before accusing him of involvement in the company.
Founded in 2015 by Tseng, im.B, which is short for “I am bank,” enables users to borrow money from each other. The platform offered interest rates of 9 to 12 percent.
Investigators arrested Tseng earlier this month.
He conducted seminars across Taiwan, promising good returns for investors, prosecutors said, adding that fraudulent profits totaled about NT$2.5 billion (US$81.49 million).
Additional reporting by Huang Ching-hsuan, Chen Yun and Cheng Ming-hsiang
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