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Taiwan Tycoon Finishes Sentence

8 August 2005

TAIWAN – As reported by the Taipei Times: "Since 1997, former gambling arcade tycoon Chou Jen-sen has served jail time for building a luxury house where he wasn't supposed to, running a network of illegal video-gambling parlors and paying off huge numbers of police and prosecutors to allow him to stay in business in the nation's largest bribery scandal ever. Today, his jail term is up, the Ministry of Justice told reporters yesterday.

"The Taiwan High Court sentenced Chou to two years in jail and a fine of NT$900 million (US$2.83 million) in 1997 for operating a network of illegal video-gambling parlors. Chou has not yet paid that fine.

"…In its ruling, the high court asked Chou to pay the outstanding NT$900 million gambling fine, and siezed NT$34 million of Chou's property to that end. Prosecutors say he disposed of most other properties before they could be siezed. Since he was unable to pay the fine, Chou agreed to serve another sentence in addition to the five months.

"…Chou ran a network of video-gambling casinos in northern Taiwan from 1988 to 1997."

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