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Magistrate's brother gets nine-year sentence

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Changhua District Court yesterday handed Cho Po-chung (卓伯仲), Changhua Magistrate Cho Po-yuan's (卓伯源) younger brother, a nine-year sentence for embezzlement and for violating the Business Entity Accounting Act (商業會計法).

In addition to Cho, two former county employees by the names of Li Yao-chuan (李耀全) and Yang Jui-mei (楊瑞美) were sentenced to 14 months and 16 months in prison, respectively, while Huang Ssu-chi (黃四吉), a friend of Cho's, was given a 10-month prison sentence convertible into a fine.

Cho pressured the Li and Yang to hand a procurement contract for eco-friendly bags to a specific firm, allowing the firm to walk away with NT$49 million. The bid was originally won by another company, but in order to get the company to forfeit, Yang drastically cut the targeted number of bags from 7 million to 10,000, and rejected the samples submitted by the company. Fearing that it would lose its bid bond, the company ultimately forfeited, allowing Cho's firm of choice to win the bid.

Investigators also discovered that as head of President Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President Wu Den-yih's campaign headquarters in Changhua, Cho also embezzled approximately NT$24 million in campaign funds.

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