Friday, November 16, 2012

DOJ Heroically Seizes Assets of Family of Chen Shui-bian

Whoa! Thank heavens our heroic US Dept of Justice took some time out from busting potsmokers to seize property from the family of Chen Shui-bian. You can read the trumpet blast of freedom yourself complete below or go to the DOJ. Note that the bribe is still referred to as "alleged."

Let me put this in perspective for you with three questions:
  • Has the DOJ seized even a penny from either of the powerful Chinese one-party state politicians whose representatives and descendants have extensive, nay, vast holdings in the US?

  • Has the DOJ seized even a penny of the US assets of any of the individuals or entities allegedly involved in bribing Chen Shui-bian?

  • Has the DOJ seized even a penny from the Wall Street kleptocracy?
Way to strike for freedom and against corruption there, DOJ. If only Chen Shui-bian had blown up the world economy through extensive fraud or run a one-party state that jailed and murdered its opponents, his US investments would be safe and sound.

Yes, I know, Chen Shui-bian is the font of all evil, causing drought, disease, war, famine, and preventing the Cubs from reaching the series for the last 103 years. Spare me. His prosecution gave every appearance of being 100% politics, an anti-democracy tactic whose political and propaganda goals the US Department of Justice just served. Way to go, DOJ.

ADDED: Don't miss SY's comment below.


Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWednesday, November 14, 2012
U.S. Forfeits $2.1 Million Worth of Property Purchased with Alleged Bribes Paid to the Family of the Former President of Taiwan

The Department of Justice has forfeited a Manhattan condominium and a Virginia residence – with a combined value of approximately $ 2.1 million – purchased with the proceeds of alleged bribes paid to the family of the former President of Taiwan, Shui-Bian Chen, as part of the department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced the forfeiture today with U.S . Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton.

On Oct. 23, 2012, U.S. District Judge Norman M oon of the Western District of Virginia entered a final forfeiture judgment against a residence in Keswick, Va., and On Oct. 24, 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in the Southern District of New York entered a final forfeiture judgment against a condominium in Manhattan. Both properties were previously owned by the former first family of Taiwan through a British Virgin Islands shell company.

Today, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took possession of the Virginia property. The title of the Manhattan condominium has been vested through court order to the government.

According to the civil forfeiture complaints filed in this case, during former President Chen’s administration, Yuanta Securities Co. Ltd. paid a bribe of 200 million New Taiwan dollars (equivalent to approximately $6 million USD) to former first lady Sue-Jen Wu in 2004 to ensure that the Taiwan government would not oppose Yuanta’s bid to acquire a financial holding company.

The former first family used Hong Kong and Swiss bank accounts, British Virgin Island companies and a St. Kitts and Nevis trust to purchase the two properties. One of the shell companies, Avallo Limited, which held title to both properties through U.S. domestic companies, settled both forfeiture actions under terms that provide for the sale of the property and forfeiture to the U.S. government of approximately 85 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of both properties.

“The Kleptocracy Initiative was established to prevent corrupt leaders from using the United States as a safe haven for their ill-gotten gains,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “The former president of Taiwan’s family allegedly accepted millions in bribes in exchange for official action favoring Yuanta Securities, and we have now taken possession of two valuable properties purchased with their alleged spoils. We are committed to using every tool available to root out foreign official corruption.”

“This most recent seizure of luxury properties in New York City and Keswick, Va. belonging to the son of the former President of Taiwan Shui-Bian Chen is part of a continued effort by Homeland Security Investigations special agents to identify, locate, and seize properties and accounts in the United States belonging to him and his family,” said ICE Director Morton. “HSI will continue to find and seize the U.S. assets of foreign corrupt officials who try to use our country to conceal the illicit proceeds and profits of their crimes.”

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Linda Samuel and Trial Attorney Jennifer Wallis of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided valuable assistance. The case was investigated by ICE- HSI’s Foreign Corruption Investigations Group, the HSI Miami Asset Identification and Removal Group and the HSI Attaché Hong Kong, with assistance from the Taiwan Ministry of Justice, Special Investigations Division.

This case is part of the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. This initiative is carried out by a dedicated team of prosecutors in the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, working in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and where appropriate return those proceeds to benefit those harmed.

Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through institutions in the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to .

HSI’s Foreign Corruption Investigations Group in Miami targets corrupt foreign officials around the world that attempt to utilize U.S. financial institutions to launder illicit funds. The group conducts investigations into the laundering of proceeds emanating from foreign public corruption, bribery or embezzlement. The objective is to prevent foreign derived ill-gotten gains from entering the U.S. financial infrastructure, to seize identified assets in the United States and repatriate these funds on behalf of those affected.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Robert R. said...

After the recent Times article about Hu Jin-Tao's family wealth, I'm sure they'll go after him next...

Michael Turton said...

...and Bo Xilai too (I think you mean Wen Jia-bao). One could compile a long list of such cases, not one of which was ever touched by the DOJ. But Chen made an easy target, a sick, dying, defenseless old man in jail.

yankdownunder said...

Unbelievable! Just simply unbelievable. But it's true.
If you hadn't given the DOJ link I'm not sure I would have believed it.

with U.S . Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

This case is part of the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

The case was investigated by ICE- HSI’s Foreign Corruption Investigations Group, the HSI Miami Asset Identification and Removal Group and the HSI Attaché Hong Kong, with assistance from the Taiwan Ministry of Justice, Special Investigations Division.

As you mentioned they(ICE,HSI etc etc) should seize all assets of almost all Chinese who have invested in US. How about countries like Cambodia(Hun Sen and his friends/relatives)?

Who decides which ones to go after?

Has the DOJ seized even a penny from the Wall Street kleptocracy?

No. Because they have good lawyers, good connections and rights. Foreigners don't.

Thanks for this post.

David on Formosa said...

Some great questions there Michael. It's a pity that the mainstream media never bother asking them.

Formosa Coweater said...

Extremely disappointing although, alas, not too surprising.

Sure hope the recent uptick in prominent persons stating the immediate need for CSB's release, on medical grounds, comes to fruition ASAP.

SY said...

Yesterday, there was another event that was time-sync'ed with this DOJ action:

Taiwan's MOFA and MOJ held an "international press conference" to tell the international human rights community to back off and to not bother coming to visit CSB because a medical parole for CSB is "impossible".

As well, the CPP-KMT media outlets tried very hard yesterday to suppress the revelation that Taipei Prison warden Fang Tzu-chieh (方子傑) was banqueting with the head of a clan of the Bamboos Union (竹聯幫), a "pariotic" (as Deng Xiaoping put it) gang of mainlander descendents (Wai-sheng-ren). This is/should be huge.

The Taipei Prison warden Mr. Fang has been instrumental in implementing measures to abuse CSB in the prison, a.o., including the following:

1. CSB was put in solitary confinement, except for 30 minutes outdoors a day on workdays.

The allowance has been extended to one hour long since August 2012 when international visitors were coming to visit him.

The international standard for solitary confinement requires daily exercise for at least one hour.

Furthermore, the 30 minute outdoor time was withheld during holidays and the long holidays of lunar new year,

Solitary confinement is the worst possible punishment, second only to death penalty.

2. The cell where CBS has been held has been lit with bright light 24/7 non-stop. No time-telling device allowed.

The neurological and psychological consequences have been immeasurable.

3. The 24/7 lit light is for the 24/7 video monitoring and taping of every move of CBS in the cell. The camera points directly to his private parts when he uses the dump hole.

CBS revealed this September to Prof. Dr. Shinn-Nan Lin (chief psychiatrist of NTU Hospital) that all the time he has been taking care to limit food and liquid intake to reduce the needs for urination and bowel movement in order to avoid the embarrassment in front of the camera.

The long-term physical strains and mental stress are extreme, according to the volunteer medical doctors who volunteered to form a medical advisory team in March 2012 to lend a medical supporting hand to CSB and his family. The above mentioned Dr. Lin is a member of the volunteer medical advisory team.

4. After CBS was moved to the psychiatry ward of TVGH on Oct 24, 2012, the Taipei Prison warden Mr. Fang has been going to see CBS every day to tell him to agree to be moved back to Taipei Prison, claiming that the prison conditions would be improved. CBS feels threatened every day even while on psychiatry ward.

At times, the harassment of Mr. Fang lasts four hours a day, according to Prof Cheng-Deng Kuo who is a TVGH physician and an Emergency medicine professor. Without the specific instruction of the Ma regime, Mr. Fang wouldn't dare to utilize his work hours this way. Prof. Kuo is also a member of the said volunteer medical advisory team.

For a long time, CSB was too proud to tell anyone about his plights in the prison. When receiving visitors, he tried to maintain a dignified appearance. His plights started to come to light early this year, when his "flu" persisted for months and a group of concerned medical doctors decided to volunteer to inquire and voice public concerns.

NOTE: references not provided to limit comment length.

Anonymous said...

@SY ~ wow....did not know that. Thanks for your post and thanks for all your other great posts in the past as well. Keep'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Here's a good background look at some criticisms that have been raised regarding federal forfeiture -

Readin said...

I'm glad to see ICE is putting their effort where it belongs rather than wasting time and money defending our borders and lands against illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.