Roger Lin used ‘strategic ambiguity’ to dupe Taiwan Civil Government members according to verdict in political fraud trial

Taiwan Civil Government founder Roger Lin under arrest for fraud in May 2018. (Screenshot)

Although his death in October 2019 resulted in fraud charges being dismissed, a 609-page verdict in a three-year criminal trial left little doubt that Taiwan Civil Government founder Roger Lin duped members of his organization with false claims of United States support.

The lengthy verdict contains summaries of victim testimonies which reveal a pattern of deception using Taiwan’s unsettled international status as the core element. Eager to free Taiwan from the exiled Republic of China, imposed on Taiwan at the end of World War II by the United States, TCG members freely donated money and paid fees to advance the organization as a shadow government.

Multiple victims told of Roger Lin’s repeated assurances that TCG was authorized by the United States Military Government. Hundreds of members regularly paid to attend classes when told by Lin that the US had asked TCG to train 4,000 people for civil service to replace ROC personnel. The new jobs were to be filled when the USMG ousted the ROC and installed TCG in its place.

While dozens of purported victims denied being tricked out of their money, dozens of others believed a variety of falsehoods including claims about TCG vanity license plates and benefits of the TCG identity card. Members of TCG delegations to the United States thought that they were going to meet with government officials but were instead carted around to tourist sites. One junketeer thought that TCG lobbyist Neil Hare was an US official. Few TCG members were fluent in English and relied on translated statements.

Many witnesses testified they were given no receipts for their donations and payments. However, TCG made enough headway in Washington to fool followers, scoring meetings with Senators and Representatives, a reception at the Heritage Foundation for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and a face-to-face session at a TCG-sponsored Polticio event with Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway. Had there been no fraud arrests in Taiwan, it is hard to say how far TCG might have gotten with the Trump administration.

Through death Roger Lin escaped a long prison sentence, however his widow Julian Lin has been sentenced to nineteen years in prison for her role as the public face of TCG. During a tearful courtroom plea early in the case, Roger begged for freedom for Julian arguing she did not understand what was happening. While Roger may have deceived his wife, Julian never played that card, instead upholding her husband’s memory with a loyalty that may cost her years behind bars.

The trial was filled with discussion about the San Francisco Peace Treaty, two Lin federal lawsuits, and Taiwan’s unresolved status, cooking up a strategic ambiguity stew. Taoyuan District Prosecutors were blunt in response, there is no United States Military Government in Taiwan. Before initiating prosecution, the ROC Ministry of Justice asked the defacto embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan, if the US had any relationship with TCG. The AIT response has not been disclosed by either government, with the US citing national security for the secrecy.

Julian Lin remains free on bail but must report weekly to a police station. An appeal is expected.

Author: richardsonreports

Author of FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two Story.

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