Ex-FSC bureau head gets reduced sentence in insider trading case

09/30/2020 06:22 PM
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Former FSC official Lee Chin-cheng (right). CNA file photo
Former FSC official Lee Chin-cheng (right). CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 30 (CNA) An ex-Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) official involved in an insider-trading case dating back to over a decade ago had his sentence reduced to six months by the Taiwan High Court on Wednesday.

Lee Chin-cheng (李進誠), a former prosecutor who served as the director-general of the FSC's Examination Bureau in 2005, had a previous six-year sentence reduced to one year by the Taiwan High Court after it was ordered by Taiwan's Supreme Court in July 2017 to review the case.

The one-year sentence was then reduced by the court to six months based on the provisions of the 2007 Criminal Commutation Act, which allows offenders convicted prior to April 24, 2007 to have their sentences reduced.

The high court did not immediately explain why Lee, indicted for leaking confidential information to an investor, was given a lighter punishment.

Lee can still appeal the ruling, which can be commuted to a fine based on a rate of NT$900 (US$30) per day, the high court said.

Lee was first given a 10-year jail term by the Taipei District Court in October 2005 for violating the Statute for the Punishment of Corruption for his role in an insider-trading scandal related to the illegal trading of Power Quotient International shares.

He was found guilty of leaking information about a government investigation into the company to Lin Ming-da (林明達), which Lin was able to use to make money on the trading of Power Quotient's shares.

While Lin and others accused in the scandal were given jail terms between two years and seven months, Lee appealed the district court's ruling and received a sentence of nine years and six months in the court's second ruling.

On appeal, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the high court for review, and in 2013, the high court found there was a lack of evidence to uphold some of the charges but not corruption.

It found Lee guilty only of violating Article 132 of the Criminal Code for leaking confidential information related to matters other than national defense in his capacity as a public official, and reduced his sentence to a year and four months.

That was further commuted to eight months based on the 2007 Criminal Commutation Act.

The verdict was appealed again, and the Supreme Court sent it back to the high court for another review.

The high court reversed its previous ruling in May 2016, when it found that Lee was guilty not only of leaking confidential information but also corruption and sentenced him to six years in jail.

Another appeal ensued, and the Supreme Court ruled in July 2017 that the high court's previous explanations of its fact findings had been contradictory, and it once again sent the case back to the high court, resulting in Wednesday's ruling.

(By Flor Wang and Liu Shih-yi)

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