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Court fines former TAMCO chairman

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taiwan Taipei District Court yesterday ruled to levy fines of NT$30 million to Chen Song-chu (陳松柱), former chairman of the Taiwan Asset Management Co. (TAMCO, 台灣金聯), and four managers involved in manipulating the company's bonus and profit-sharing scheme for personal gain.

The court found that Chen had falsified performance assessment data submissions and drawn up provisions for NT$70 million in employees' bonus and profit sharing payouts, of which NT$22 million was earmarked for himself.

TAMCO is a company jointly founded in 2001 by 25 financial institutions, banks and bills finance companies (票劵公司) in both the private and public sectors. The company is legally obliged to follow government guidelines in its operation, which include the payout of employees' bonuses and profit-sharing schemes. The company's establishment is designed to facilitate the settlement of bad assets of local banks and financial institutions. It is reportedly one of the largest asset-management companies in Taiwan.

Chen was appointed chairman of TAMCO from 2008 to 2009 from his previous post as an institutional investor's representative from Land Bank (土地銀行).

The court deemed Chen's actions an unlawful pursuit for personal gain, as the NT$70 million in bonuses were not approved by the Ministry of Finance. Chen was ordered by the Taipei District Court to return the NT$20 million in ill-gotten bonuses through fines, while three of his consorts, also managers of the company, were ordered to return bonuses ranging from NT$100,000 to NT$9 million.

Incidentally, in 2010 TAMCO issued a letter urging Chen to return the NT$20 million, with yesterday's court ruling representing the first progress update in the past four years.

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