The May 2018 arrests of Roger and Julian Lin and others in Taiwan for political fraud were followed by heavy spending in Washington by Taiwan Civil Government, an advocacy group, Roger Lin, TCG founder, seeks United States assistance expelling the exiled Republic of China from Taiwan. TCG has sunk a lot of money on publicity agents in Washington since Lin’s arrest.
Accused of making false claims about the benefits of a TCG identification card and vanity license plates, the Lins face long prison sentences. The expenditures in Washington for publicity may be driven by a virtual news whiteout about the case, a unique international crime story with political overtones.
TCG is one of many groups and parties seeking to remove the ROC from Taiwan. The unsettled sovereignty status of the island for seven decades has spawned a rainbow spectrum of approaches to Taiwan independence. TCG was formed in 2008 and has advanced its pro-American message with heavy spending for publicity and praise of President Donald Trump.
A week after the midnight raids and arrests, TCG paid Global Vision Communications a hefty $165,375.81 for a “Professional Management Fee.” Neil Hare, President of GVC and registered Foreign Agent for TCG, was given another management fee of $109,384 a month after the arrests. This was followed in mid-June with $93,313.33 for “Strategic Consulting Services.” TCG gave Hare’s company a total of $368,073.24 in professional fees in a five week period after the arrests.
In a required report to the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agent Registration Act the group also disclosed spending $232,047.94 on “Advertising, Shipping, and Event Expenses” following the arrests in Taiwan.
Shelley Hymes, owner of Angel Enterprises, a Washington public relations firm, may be TCG’s angel in Washington but she comes with a big price tag. Hymes had received a payment of $102,183.33 on May 1, 2018 for work she had done planning a TCG session with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the Heritage Foundation.
After the arrests in Taiwan the money started flowing. Angel Enterprises got $15,560.56 on June 12, $45,000 on June 22, $45,000 on June 27,000, $29,908.32 on July 16, and $25,000 in September. Hymes pulls double duty for TCG, also serving on the board of the newly formed Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce funded by the advocacy group.
Neil Hare is the man of the hour serving as registered Foreign Agent, chief lobbyist and publicist, official spokesman, and head of TCG’s Chamber of Commerce chapter. Hare doesn’t come cheap either, pulling in over a million dollars from TCG in the last two years. Some TCG members are beginning to wonder if the money was well spent while others praise Hare and Hymes. Perhaps the answer will be found out in a Taoyuan District courtroom when the fate of Roger and Julian Lin is determined.