Justice Department disclosures under the Foreign Agent Registration Act reveal that on October 29, 2019, lobbyist Neil Hare, CEO of Global Vision Communications, terminated his relationship with Taiwan Civil Government. The shutdown was just months after TCG “President” Roger Lin signed a $1.2 million contract for lobbying services to run until December 2020.
Lin’s signature, June 1, 2019, was supposed to be accompanied by a $200,000 payment with another $200,000 due in September. There are no posted FARA records that show the payments were made. Instead, TCG forwarded $125,634.09 to Global Vision Communications for “creative services” and travel expenses.
Hare, who served as TCG lobbyist for three years, opened doors in the Trump administration including a private session with presidential counselor Kellyanne Conwayand a reception with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, canceled at the last moment when word of Roger Lin’s arrest in Taiwan in May 2018 reached Washington.
Lin and others were charged by the Republic of China in-exile with cheating group members with false claims about the TCG identity card and support from the United States. The arrests effectively halted TCG advances in Washington. TCG seeks the expulsion of the ROC from Taiwan and advocates for a United States military government during the transition. Taiwan’s longstanding unresolved international status, since the end of World War II, led to the formation of TCG in 2008.
Roger Lin died a week after Hare terminated the contract and made no public announcement of the cancellation. ROC prosecutors dismissed pending fraud charges against Lin although they are proceeding against his widow Julian Lin and “Prime Minister” Tsai Tsai Yuan. Julian and Tsai are now locked in a power struggle for leadership of the TCG which has split the group into two camps. Lin loyalists maintain they are the official TCG while Tsai followers have adopted “TCG 3.0” to signify a change in leadership. The FARA report identifies James Lin as the official TCG representative for Hare and his lobby team.
At the time Roger Lin approved the new contract with GVC a cool million dollars was owed the lobby firm. Hare has apparently been unable to collect his money which led to the contract termination. Hare refuses to discuss his work with TCG and no one in either faction seems interested in paying his bill. Internal rumors suggest that at least some of the money to pay Hare was raised but no one has offered an accounting for the funds.
Although devotees continue to honor Roger Lin, as evidenced by a recent memorial ceremony, the organization is struggling in the absence of the charismatic leader. Meanwhile a fraud trial continues to grind along forcing both Julian Lin and Tsai Tsai Yuan into a courtroom twice a month while ROC prosecutors try to prove money was mishandled and false claims were made.