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TV show host in suspected scam skips town
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-14 03:42 PM
Chen Yi-chieh, who as “Yi-fei” once hosted a show on BLTV offering advice on how to eat healthy, has been accused of defrauding investors of more than NT$500 million using his younger brother’s listed company Hua-hsin Environmental Workers. Chen reportedly enticed victims to invest in the company processing waste communications and electronic materials.

One victim told investigators the company promised a return of 2.8% on investment after just 36 days. Chen reportedly rewarded the “investor” with NT$2,005,600 on an initial payment of NT$2 million, leading the victim to attract others to the deal – putting together a total of nearly NT$8 million from 7 or 8 friends and associates looking for quick profits.

After giving his victims a first taste of easy money, Chen offered even sweeter deals promising profits of 2.8% to 4.5% on investments left for 35 to 40 days.

The scheme seemed to be going smoothly until one victim encountered strange problems. He said Chen told investors that he was having problems with strict Customs agents in Hong Kong and that one interest payment would be late in coming.

The investors, who believed they were sinking funds into a legitimate operation, were alarmed and turned to a city councilor for assistance. Taipei City Councilor Tung Chung-yan delved into the background of General Manager Chen Yi-chieh and the investment operations, only to discover that they were all shell companies.

Nearly 20 victims are suspected to have lost anywhere from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of NT dollars in the scheme, and Chen Yi-chieh is nowhere to be found. Some victims say they have gone to court over the reputed fraud but have yet to make any progress in the case, and are now going public in order to ensure that no one else will be victimized.

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