Suspect charged in major fraud case repatriated to Taiwan

01/21/2020 07:57 PM
Image taken from MJIB
Image taken from MJIB's website

Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) A man accused of defrauding nine Taiwanese banks of NT$38.6 billion (US$1.27 billion) in loans has been returned to Taiwan to face trial after he was arrested in the United States late last year, the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB) said Tuesday.

Yang Wen-hu (楊文虎), the former head of Taipei-based New Site Industries Inc. and the chief suspect in the fraud case, arrived at Taoyuan International Airport at around 5:20 p.m. on a flight from Los Angeles, escorted by two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, according to the MJIB.

He was repatriated to Taiwan as part of ongoing judicial cooperation between Taiwan and the United States.

Taiwanese prosecutors were investigating allegations that Yang and his wife Wang Ying-chih (王音之) had committed fraud when they issued an arrest warrant for the two in August 2019 after realizing the suspects had fled the country in June.

The MJIB then asked for the assistance of U.S. authorities in apprehending Yang and Wang, who were believed to be hiding in their son's house in Los Angeles.

The two were arrested on Dec. 12 by U.S. ICE agents in Los Angeles, but Yang was sent back to Taiwan first because he was visiting the U.S. visa free and was not qualified to file for asylum, according to the MJIB.

His wife Wang, meanwhile, entered the U.S. on a B2 tourist visa and will not be able to return to Taiwan until after a scheduled immigration hearing is held on Jan. 23, the MJIB said.

Prosecutors did not formally indict the two and 34 others in the case until Jan. 9 of this year for violating the Banking Act, Money Laundering Control Act, and Business Entity Accounting Act in the elaborate scheme.

According to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, Yang and Wang asked their staffers to create fraudulent transaction records, fund transfers and investment schemes between January 2011 and May 2019 to deceive the nine banks and secure the NT$38.6 billion in loans.

Prosecutors said they will seek 30-year jail terms for the two chief suspects.

(By Hsiao Po-wen and Joseph Yeh)

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