Hounded by prosecutors in life and creditors in death, the late Roger Lin was a magnet for controversy. Lin, the founder of Taiwan Civil Government, an advocacy group opposed to the exiled Republic of China, saw his dreams for the future vanish before his October 2019 cancer-related death.
In July 2019, Lin witnessed the destruction of both the TCG headquarters and a new annex under construction. The leased building, constructed decades ago, was purportedly built contrary to a zoning code and was in violation of environmental regulations for hillside drainage. The drastic action for building code violations was allegedly approved of by the Yu Hsiang-ching family, owners of the demolished structure in a bid to gain freedom or a reduced sentence in a criminal prosecution of Lin and family patriarch Yu.
Roger Lin and his wife Julian, and others, were accused in May 2018, after a dramatic and highly publicized raid, of an elaborate fraud scheme Lin was purportedly conducting against members of hisown group. Lin allegedly made false claims about support for TCG from the United States and the benefits of the TCG identity card.
The Lins and Yu suffered five months of incommunicado pre-trial detention before being granted bail. ROC prosecutors continue to try Julian Lin, Yu, and Tsai Tsai-yuan, a TCG officer, on fraud charges with a long-running series of hearings and no end in sight.
The Yu family took Roger Lin and a six-member leadership team to court in a bid for money to compensate for the lost income resulting from the destruction of the group headquarters. TCG had already been fined and paid a clean-up charge following demolition.
A Taoyuan District Court judge has ruled Lin and company owe NT$63,650 plus interest, a couple of thousand dollars in American currency. The judge applied equity principles rather than contract law to the ruling, finding unjust enrichment through failure to pay rent. TCG had owed for a portion of a month immediately before demolition. The Yu family had sought NT$9,000,000 to cover the length of the lease but the court found there was no basis in law for charging rent for a demolished building.
Following Roger Lin’s death, while Julian Lin and Tsai Tsai-yuan battle for control of TCG splitting the group into factions, the landlords may have to wait for payment. TCG defaulted on a million dollar contract.with Washington publicity agent Neil Hare signed by Roger Lin several months before his death. Hare has been negotiating with Tsai’s faction and purportedly offered his services conditional to a partial payment of the defaulted contract.
The ongoing and never-ending prosecution of Lin, Yu, and Tsai continues to run up legal bills for the defendants. Donations are down after bad publicity and group infighting. No one is rushing forward to pay rent for a demolished building, and the struggle for group survival comes first.