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Taiwan home appliance firm head gets 8 years in prison

Publication Date : 14-08-2014


Lin Wei-shan, chairman of the Tatung Company, one of Taiwan's leading home appliances makers, was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison and fined NT$300 million (almost US$10 million) by the Taiwan High Court on charges of violating the Securities and Exchange Act and breach of trust.

Lin was indicted by the Banciao District Prosecutors Office in 2011 and later in 2012 sentenced to four years in prison by the New Taipei District Court. According to the ruling, the district court deems that Lin instructed a Tatung subsidiary to finance a computer firm he personally invested in, which caused Tatung a loss of at least NT$1.7 billion.

The Taiwan High Court yesterday said apart from violating the Securities and Exchange Act, Lin also violated the Company Act and the Criminal Code, leading to five-month and three-month prison terms. The court further said, however, that the two separate terms may be commuted to a fine that may equal a daily rate of NT$1,000.

Calling the first instance issued by the New Taipei District Court too light, the high court yesterday pointed out that the district court had miscalculated Lin's total ill-gotten gains at under NT$100 million. The high court said the illegal profits made from the criminal acts exceeded NT$100 million, so it revoked the district court's ruling and levied an eight-year prison term and NT$3 million fine.

The high court further said that the Tatung Company, as a listed firm, should be considered a “public asset” rather than a “private asset,” stressing that Lin as the chairman of the company should not have abused his position to embezzle the firm's assets.

The embezzlement had caused Tatung a loss of at least NT$1.7 billion between 2007 and 2010, the high court said, adding that this has seriously harmed the interests and rights of the firm's shareholders and employees.

The Tatung Company yesterday issued a press statement, saying that the firm could not accept the high court's ruling. The company will appeal the said ruling. The home appliance maker said it believed that its chairman was innocent, and it would support Lin in filing an appeal.

The company said with Lin and its general manager's efforts, Tatung earned a profit of NT$1.12 billion in the first half of this year, stressing that the ruling would not affect Tatung's operations and finances.


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