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September 27, 2017

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Acer spokesman faces insider trading charges

TAIPEI -- Two employees of Taiwan's Acer Inc. (宏碁) and three other people were charged Friday by the New Taipei District Prosecutors Office as part of a probe into insider trading of the PC manufacturer's shares.

Henry Tao-hsiung Wang (汪島雄), Acer's public relations chief and acting spokesman, and Chen Chiung-yuan (陳炯淵), Acer's senior manager, were charged, along with Lo Fang ju (羅方汝), an employee at a securities company, her ex-husband Tsao Chin-ming (曹晉銘) and Yang Chin-lung (楊金隆), a professional investor.

Three other suspects are not slated for prosecution.

The suspects stand accused of avoiding losses of more than NT$1 million (US$33,195) by divesting their shares in Acer late last year ahead of a report that the troubled PC vendor had suffered losses of NT$9.94 billion in the third quarter.

After learning about the serious losses of Acer in an internal meeting headed by then-Chairman and CEO J.T. (王振堂) Wang Nov. 1, 2013, Wang and Chen revealed the information to Lo and Yang, according to the indictment.

If the shares were traded with knowledge of the company's losses and change in management, it would constitute a violation of the Securities and Exchange Act.

Lo, her ex-husband and others then sold their Acer shares before the public announcement of the losses, and bought the shares back later, acquiring illegal benefits of NT$1.37 million.

Yang made a similar move and accrued more than NT$800,000.

Once the world's second-largest PC maker, Acer reported losses of NT$12.95 billion, or NT$4.76 per share, in the first three quarters of 2013.

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