Ching Song’s pair added to global wanted list

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ON THE RUN:
The Bureau of Investigation has asked US authorities to track down Lu Cheng-yen and his wife, Chang Hsiu-lan, who allegedly embezzled NT$162.3 million.

  • By Jason Pan / Staff Reporter

Judicial authorities yesterday placed the owner of Ching Song Lohas Tech-Agriculture Inc (青松樂活科技農業公司) and his wife on an international fugitive list for allegedly defrauding banks and investors.

Prosecutors charged Lu Cheng-yen (呂政諺), 42, and his wife, Chang Hsiu-lan (張秀蘭), 43, with embezzlement, fraud and breach of trust after the company went bankrupt and the couple’s flight abroad in April last year, the Bureau of Investigation said in a press release yesterday.

The couple first boarded a flight to China and then traveled to the United States with approximately NT$162.3 million ($5.64 million at the current exchange rate) in embezzled funds, they said. said office officials.

Officials said they have asked US authorities – through a mutual legal assistance agreement – to find the couple and arrest them, or determine if they have left the country.

Lu is listed as the owner and Chang as the business manager of Ching Song, which was based in Taibao Town of Chiayi County (太保).

The company was a leading retailer of vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products, and had established transportation and sales channels for the central and southern agricultural regions of Taiwan.

Before going bankrupt, Ching Song had an annual turnover of around NT$700 million, as the couple had over the past decade expanded their operations to include new storage depots in which produce could be cleaned. and packaged, as well as cold storage logistics, investigators mentioned.

At one point, Lu listed Ching Song on TAIEX, saying the company would become the “TSMC of agricultural production,” referring to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

To attract investors, Lu reportedly claimed to have signed deals to supply major hypermarket, supermarket and convenience store chains, as well as leading restaurants.

When the business went bankrupt and the couple fled, officials in Chiayi and Yunlin counties organized legal teams to help the more than 400 small farmers who were owed money.

Many other suppliers and small businesses have also been unable to collect what the company owes them.

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