Taoyuan District Judge Yi-Shan Yao recently questioned Roger Lin, the purported mastermind of what prosecutors have billed a political fraud ring, about the role of Global Vision Communications in Taiwan Civil Government operations. Lin told the court that GVC had no role setting up the Taiwan Civil Government Foundation, Inc. which has become a subject of judicial interest. Lin and others are accused of deceiving TCG members into making donations with false claims.
Global Vision Communications is a Washington public relations firm hired by Lin in 2015 to conduct a lobbying campaign for TCG to increase awareness of Taiwan’s unresolved international status. Neil Hare, president of the firm, declined comment on the courtroom query. Hare has previously stated he works under a non-disclosure agreement and was not concerned with events “on the ground in Taiwan.”
Hare might want to become more familiar with what is happening in Tayoun District Court. The judge also questioned Julian Lin about the Washington public relations firm owned by Hare.
Hare has registered with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agent Registration Act as a Foreign Agent of Taiwan Civil Government and arranged a full-page New York Times advertisement that sparked surveillance of Roger and Julian Lin four days after publication. The newspaper has been silent on its advertiser’s arrest on fraud charges and has not reported a single word about the case or the group link to Washington insiders, including Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Hare did make a formal statement, posted on a Taiwan Civil Government website, about a second New York Times ad that contained an appeal from Julian Lin for United Nations help: “Despite over a decade of very public and peaceful protest, two lawsuits in the United States, and a robust global public relations effort, the Republic of China government have accused the Lins of fraud….the Lins are being denied their right to free speech and legal rights we would deem fair in the U.S.”
Hare said the “pro-US stance has landed the leader of the TCG, Dr. Roger Lin and his wife Julian Lin in prison.” Hare stated Roger Lin was “expressing a legitimate political belief.”
Hare was the go-between for a parley and photo shoot with Julian Lin and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway at a POLITICO event sponsored by TCG in May 2017. Hare did not detail the contact with Conway in his periodic FARA reports. The omission appears to conflict with federal law unless the POLITICO get-together was of little or no significance, which would undermine Julian Lin’s boast of her White House connection.
Hare arranged a meet between a TCG delegation and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and two United States Senators, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Joe Manchin of West Virgina. Ross cancelled minutes before the session in May 2018 at the Heritage Foundation under orders from the White House where he was called to an urgent meeting. Senators Sasse and Manchin went ahead with the TCG sponsored show. The delegation was to meet two United States Representatives later the same day at a Roll Call Live event, also arranged by Neil Hare, and paid for by Taiwan Civil Government. The two unnamed Representatives cancelled their appearance when they learned of the fraud arrests in Taiwan.
The lobbying tactics used by Global Vision Communications are media-based with advertising, events, sponsorship, and cocktail parties. The firm partnered with Angel Enterprises, headed by Shelly Hymes, for junkets and publicity events. The two companies snagged hefty fees for their costly campaigns. Hare defends the expense maintaining that TCG made significant inroads into the halls of power in Washington. The reach of TCG is important in the fraud case as prosecutors claim the Lins were making fictitious claims of United States support for their agenda to oust the exiled Republic of China from Taiwan.
Hare has remained tight-lipped about the case, an unusual silence for the mouthpiece of an organization. Resisting temptation to play spin doctor, Hare has followed pace with a news media whiteout about the case. Hare says he has not been contacted by ROC prosecutors and could be expected to tell them very little. Judge Yi-Shan Yao is not likely to get much help from Neil Hare about the business of Taiwan Civil Government.