Taipei prosecutors indicted Eastern Multimedia Group Chairman Gary Wang (王令麟) and 31 others yesterday on charges of committing financial crimes that allegedly netted Wang and his family NT$41.2 billion in illegal gains from 1998 to 2006.
Wang, suspected to have masterminded the high profile crimes, should be put behind bars for 28 years and fined NT$1 billion, prosecutors suggested in a written indictment.
"Prosecutors specified the 28-year imprisonment for Wang based on clear evidence they have in hand proving Wang and his accomplices premeditated the crime," said Fred Lin (林錦村), spokesman for the Taipei Prosecutors Office.
Once the most successful media tycoon in Taiwan, Wang's indictment yesterday made Taiwan judicial history for the number of crimes Wang was accused of committing.
Wang, who was taken into custody June 17, has violated nine laws, prosecutors said: the Securities Exchange Act; the Banking Act; the Law Against Accepting Bribes; the Companies and Corporations Act; the Government Procurement Law; the Insurance Law; the Act Governing Bills Financing Business, and the Commercial Account Law.
They added that Wang also violated criminal laws by committing fraud, forgery and breach of trust when he collaborated with family members, relatives and subordinates to embezzle funds of companies under his group and the Rebar Group, which was founded by his fugitive father Wang You-theng (王又曾).
Wang used various methods to siphon off the funds, prosecutors said, including setting up 68 shell companies.
Wang allegedly cheated individual shareholders of his Asia Pacific Broadband Telecom Co. by buying shares from them at NT$20 on the eve of an announcement by the U.S.-based Carlyle Group of its intention to purchase the telecom company. Prosecutors found that Wang later sold the shares to the U.S. company at the price NT$32.5 each, earning a profit of NT$23.7 million.
Prosecutors also indicted Wang's wife, Tsai Hsueh-ching, for assisting Wang and for receiving more than NT$26 million in wages from the group's Eastern Broadcasting Company despite never having worked for the company.
Prosecutors argued that Tsai, a former pop singer, has set a bad example by failing to answer repeated subpoenas. Tsai's whereabouts have remained a mystery since the probe began in June.
Despite Tsai's failure to appear before prosecutors, she was also indicted based on tangible evidence indicating her involvement in Wang's illegal activities, the prosecutors' statement said.
Among the 30 other individuals indicted was Taipei City government official Liu Chia-tseng, who was formerly division head of the city government's sport office. Liu allegedly helped Wang's group by not imposing fines on the company over its failure to install a digital display at the Taipei Arena in accordance with a deadline it had agreed to after winning a contract to run the indoor arena, prosecutors said.
Liu even prevented a subordinate from filing a report to the city government about the monetary punishment when the employee discovered the failure, said prosecutors, who therefore suggested that Liu deserves to face five years in prison for helping Wang's group escape a fine that would have amounted to more than NT$207.12 million.
Led by Prosecutor Yu Shiu-duan, the investigation team handed down the indictments two months after the probe began June 14.
The prosecutors, moreover, indicted 10 more people yesterday in the same case, including Wang You-theng, his wife Wang Chin Shih-ying (王金世英), and Gary Wang's brother Wang Ling-yi (王令一), for their involvement in the embezzlement of funds from Rebar Group companies. The 10-person indictment will be transferred to a court panel whose judges are reviewing the Rebar case, the prosecution stated.
Taipei prosecutors indicted Wang You-theng and Wang Chin on similar charges of embezzling Rebar Group funds in March of this year. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year jail term for Wang You-theng, only two years more than the term that prosecutors recommended for his son yesterday.