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Prosecutors charge ING's former VP with breach of trust

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office (TDPO, 台北地檢署) indicted Hsieh Ching-liang (謝清良), former vice president of ING Securities Investment & Trust Co., Ltd. (ING,安泰投信) for breach of trust (背信罪) yesterday morning over his alleged insider trading and mishandling of public funds leading to illegal profits for himself and his family.

According to prosecutors, Hsieh took advantage of his position in control of public funds, including the government's labor insurance fund and labor pension fund, by purchasing shares of the same firms in which Hsieh had invested his personal money through the government funds.

On occasions when Hsieh had inside information that certain shares might drop in value, he sold out his own stakes first and government shares later so that he could garner profits for himself at the expense of the public funds. The government lost nearly NT$100 million as a result of Hsieh's actions while he earned over NT$8 million in profits. The prosecutors said Hsieh intentionally caused a huge loss in the value of government funds in order to protect his own interests.

The prosecutors disclosed that Hsieh not only owns a luxury apartment worth NT$200 million in Taipei, but also has purchased other real estate, which they say would be unaffordable given his legal income. Moreover, before the case was disclosed, Hsieh transferred the ownership of the real estate under the name of his ex-wife to avoid government confiscation. In addition, after the case was exposed, Hsieh tried to transfer large amounts of money to an overseas account.

The TDPO suspected that Hsieh tried to conceal his assets to prepare for his escape from the country. The prosecutors interrogated Hsieh last November and asked the court to set him on NT$2 million bail. Hsieh was also restricted from leaving the country.

Although the prosecutors once suspected that Hsieh committed the crime with the help of other civil servants, they eventually came to the conclusion that no one else was involved in the case. Hsieh's manipulation pattern in this case was listed on the top 10 news stories of the Taiwan stock market last year. The prosecutors demanded Hsieh to hand over NT$8 million in allegedly illegal profits. Also, in order to protect the credit of the company, ING paid compensation to the government first and then requested Hsieh to pay for their loss.

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