Tai­wanese ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ nabbed for al­leged fraud

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Lo Hsu-liang ( ), head of Taoyuan-based biotech prod­uct sup­plier Zodic Light World Tech­nol­ogy Inc. ( ) was ar­rested Fri­day morn­ing im­me­di­ately upon re­turn­ing to Tai­wan from abroad.

Lo sold shares of Zodic to in­vestors to rake in about NT$1 bil­lion (US$32.26 mil­lion) af­ter al­legedly dis­sem­i­nat­ing false in­for­ma­tion about the prospects of his com­pany.

Pros­e­cu­tors raided Zodic’s head­quar­ters and the com­pany’s af­fil­i­ates ear­lier this week, while sum­mon­ing 14 re­lated per­sons, in­clud­ing Lo’s wife, for ques­tion­ing. Lo did not ap­pear in the pros­e­cu­tors of­fice for ques­tion­ing as he was in Aus­tria at the time.

Lo’s wife and the 13 oth­ers were re­leased on bail rang­ing be­tween NT$30,000 and NT$300,000 af­ter ques­tion­ing.

Im­me­di­ately upon Lo’s ar­rival in Taoyuan Fri­day morn­ing, he was ap­proached by In­ves­ti­ga­tion Bureau of­fi­cers. The in­ves­ti­ga­tors showed him an ar­rest war­rant be­fore he was hand­cuffed.

Faced with the ar­rest, Lo ap­peared calm and took off his jacket to cover the hand­cuffs with­out say­ing any­thing.

Lo’s al­legedly fraud­u­lent stock trad­ing case has been called the Tai­wanese ver­sion of “The Wolf of Wall Street”, a 2013 movie star­ring Leonardo DiCaprio based on a true story de­pict­ing a stock bro­ker’s rise and fall, in­volv­ing crime and cor­rup­tion.

In 2012, Zodic an­nounced plans to work with Chi­rana Group of Europe to sell med­i­cal de­vices in the Euro­pean Union and the Asi­aPa­cific mar­ket.

In June 2014, Lo told the press that Zodic had teamed up with Chi­rana Group of Europe, Taipei Med­i­cal Univer­sity and Honduras by sign­ing a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing for co­op­er­a­tion on an in­vest­ment worth 500 mil­lion eu­ros (US$560 mil­lion) over the course of three years. The part­ner­ship was aimed to pen­e­trate the med­i­cal mar­ket in Latin Amer­ica, he claimed.

In Jan­uary 2014, Zodic said it was plan­ning to go public in the lo­cal emerg­ing mar­ket and then sold 10 mil­lion shares through six se­cu­ri­ties ad­vi­sory firms, rak­ing in more than NT$600 mil­lion in prof­its, the lo­cal media said. In July 2014, Zodic is­sued an ad­di­tional 13.37 mil­lion new shares to make more than NT$300 mil­lion, the re­ports added.

How­ever, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that Zodic had fab­ri­cated the co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment, and Lo took ad­van­tage of the false in­for­ma­tion to sell Zodic shares. Lo was even ac­cused of ask­ing his em­ploy­ees to buy the shares.

The lo­cal media re­ported that while Zodic de­scribed it­self as a min­i­mally in­va­sive ab­dom­i­nal surgery de­vice provider, pros­e­cu­tors found that it was only a shell com­pany and did not own any pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

The re­ports said that Lo spent only NT$2 mil­lion to set up the com­pany in 2011, and bor­rowed money to in­flate the paid-in cap­i­tal to NT$300 mil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.