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Brother of Changhua County chief sentenced to 9 years
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-17 05:14 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Cho Po-chung, the brother of Changhua County Magistrate Cho Po-yuan, was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday for skimming NT$23 million (US$764,000) in funds from President Ma Ying-jeou’s re-election campaign.

The sentence by the Changhua District Court can still be appealed. Cho was found not guilty of a separate charge of helping businesses rake in profits totaling NT$49 million (US$1.6 million).

The nine-year prison sentence was a sum of several sentences. The judges gave Cho four years for using the presidential campaign money, one year and four months for forcing civil servants to lie, seven months for violating the Business Accounting Act, reports said.

Prosecutors had requested a long sentence, especially for the corruption charges of which he was found innocent.

The 41-year-old brother of the senior politician had treated the Changhua County Government as if it were his own business, prosecutors said. He ordered the manufacturing of bags, calendars, cups and saucers on which he allowed the printing of the county chief’s name as a way of making propaganda for him, reports said.

The judge accused him of betraying the president’s supporters who had donated small amounts of hard-earned money to the 2012 campaign. Despite holding a Ph.D. degree and hailing from a wealthy family, Cho Po-chung abused his position as campaign manager in the county and betrayed the trust of common voters, the judge reportedly said.

Two former Changhua County officials were sentenced to 16 months and 14 months respectively, while a middleman received ten months.

When Cho was indicted last May, county chief Cho Po-yuan denied any involvement in the case, saying he had never entrusted anybody with business on behalf of the county government.

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