Taiwan’s ‘strategic ambiguity’ victims told of deception by Roger Lin in political fraud trial verdict

Roger Lin and his controversial Taiwan Civil Government identity card (credits: TCG)

The three-year fraud trial of leaders of Taiwan Civil Government, an advocacy group, in Taoyuan District Court resulted in a 609-page split verdict. The lengthy trial did not use a jury, which are not allowed by the exiled Republic of China government ruling Taiwan.

Roger Lin, founder of TCG and the main defendant, died during the long trial and charges against him were dismissed. However, victim testimony summaries included in the verdict leave little doubt that Lin told his group members that TCG was authorized by the United States Military Government and that TCG was to replace the ROC. The switch of governments would require a cadre of trained civil servants and 4,000 people would be needed. TCG headquarters became a training camp with overnight housing for weekend seminars, all at a price.

The fervour displayed by TCG members with their uniforms, flags, and noisy parades becomes understandable when you realize many of them were also job-seekers in a would-be future government. The common belief was that the more you gave and the more classes you took, the better the job you would get in the new regime. The witness stories tell themselves.

One of the primary witnesses against Roger Lin was Cai Chao-peng who gave enough to be a future governor. “I’ve been governor of Tainan Prefecture….I set up eight counties in Tainan to recruit new members.”

The membership number is something the ROC court seemed unable to determine. Lin and TCG lobbyist Neil Hare both claimed 70,000 members. With all the money funneled to Washington for media events, dinners, cocktail parties, and advertising the claim seemed possible. However, the truth is much of the big spending came out of a few deep pockets. Insider estimates of membership, before the split into present-day factions, was much lower. It has been estimated that perhaps 5,000 people have attended at least one TCG event, class or meeting. Those that paid dues was closer to 2,000 and the activists that could be counted to suit up and march in a parade at between 400 and 500 people.

According to many witnesses the claim of authorization by the United States Military Government was made by Roger Lin and nameless class intructors. Although his widow, Julian Lin, has been sentenced to nineteen years in prison for her role in the scheme, witnesses did not implicate her like they did Roger.

Witnesses after witness repeated the same testimony that they were in line for jobs in the new Taiwan government after the USMG kicked out the exiled Republic of China. Donors to Roger & Julian Lin vs. Republic of China & United States of America litigation in Washington were told they would be refunded at a 30 to 1 rate upon winning the case about the ROC Nationality Act. Donors gave money in $50,000 NT chunks. The $50,000 NT donors each got a thank you letter. Although the lawsuit received friendly treatment by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals the case lost because of the long passage of time. The decision also hinted that Japan should have been named as an additional party.

Witness Chen Chun-mei told of donating to the lawsuit in cash and taking multiple classes to the tune of $200,000 NT. “It is to get the qualifications of a legislator, and when the Taiwanese government takes power, I can go straight to the Legislative Yuan.”

Witness Luo Pei-yu gave $100,000 NT for the lawsuit and referring to Roger and Julian Lin said, “I want to normalize Taiwan’s international status, and I don’t want to support the husband and wife.”

Special red license plates would provide ten years of tax free, no-fee driving upon the switch of governments. Witnesses reported the plates caused traffic stops by police when displayed. The license plates cost $6,000 NT.

The weekend classes each cost $2,000 NT and a threshold number of classes was five. Many witnesses had taken up to a dozen classes. The cost included weekend room and board at the TCG headquarters. Approximately half of the witnesses told of no receipts for class payments.

One witness was a member of the Black Bears paramilitary squad who had to pay for a dozen extra classes so he could drill in the headquarters parking lot. Squad members did develop an expertise at coordinating frequent TCG parades.

Junkets were all paid for by the individual members traveling with the delegations. One junketeer expressed disappointment at being hauled around to tourist sites rather than sitting down with representatives of the US government. Because of language barriers, the TCG delegations often knew very little about the people they met, only that they were “important.”

Witness Wei Chao-qian visited the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan twice in 2015 and 2016, and went to the United States in March 2017. Wei also attended the Trump administration’s inaugural cocktail party hosted by Politico and sponsored by TCG. “There was no US official to contact President Donald Trump at the reception. The Taiwan Civil Government is a fabrication.” A big supporter of the Roger Lin litigation, Wei testified he gave $250,000 NT in five installments.

The TCG identity card sold for $1,000 NT. The card was the gateway to pension benefits and free education upon the regime change. Some thought the cards were actually issued by the United States because they said USMG on the back.

A few witnesses reported that they thought everything was legitimate because American attorneys were supposedly handling things in Washington. Neil Hare, head of Global Vision Communications and TCG’s lobbyist, is an attorney. Taoyuan District prosecutors questioned Julian Lin about Hare during the fraud trial. Hare registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent and that according to witnesses was further used to build credibility with members. One witness thought Hare was a US official.

One product that victims paid for but never received was an electronic travel document that was supposed to replace a passport. The electronic pass, which cost $1,000 NT, was purportedly under development at the time of the May 2018 raid and arrests and subsequently was never issued.

Surprisingly, only twenty of the over three hundred victims cited in the verdict have since filed for a refund of their money. One explanation for the small number of restitution requests may be the coercive nature of the victims’ interrogation by prosecutors during the run-up to the lengthy trial. Alleged victims not called to testify deny being defrauded and tell of multiple, menacing interrogations where they were treated like criminals.

Because of Taiwan’s unresolved international status the United States does not recognize the Republic of China in-exile as the sovereign government, consequently there is no extradition treaty which should give Neil Hare a sigh of relief. None of the US media houses that took TCG money for shows, sponsorship, and staged events will comment on the fraud charges. Meanwhile, a split in the organization following Roger Lin’s October 2019 death has further reduced TCG membership and influence, a goal the prosecutors tried to achieve all along.

Author: richardsonreports

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

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