Head of Taiwan's Tatung guilty of breach of trust

The head of Taiwan's top home appliance maker, Tatung Company, was handed a four-and-a-half-year prison term after he ordered the firm to finance a company he had invested in, a court said on Saturday.

Tatung chairman Lin Wei-shan was handed the prison sentence late Friday at a court in New Taipei City, close to the capital, after being convicted of breach of trust. He has not yet been jailed as he plans to appeal the ruling.

The 65-year-old had instructed a Tatung subsidiary to finance a computer firm he personally invested in, which caused Tatung a loss of at least Tw$1.7 billion ($56 million), according to the court.

"Lin abused his powers as the chairman and his actions... seriously damaged the interests of Tatung shareholders and investors," the Banciao district court said in a statement.

Lin was quoted by the state central news agency as saying that he will appeal the ruling to clear his name.

Established in 1918, Taiwan-listed Tatung, which makes goods such as flat-panel TVs, fridges and fans, is one of the island's best-known brands and runs manufacturing plants in China, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.

It also has investment interests in green energy, real estate and education.

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