HTC co-founder allegedly scammed of $10.35m by church members

HTC co-founder allegedly scammed of $10.35m by church members

The co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, Cher Wang, has allegedly been swindled out of a few million dollars by members of the church she attends.

Taiwanese English-language daily China Post reported that Ms Wang was cheated of US$7.4 million (S$10.35 million) by Jonathan Chang, 60, and his wife Grace Chang, 57.

According to media reports, Mr Chang was a church elder in charge of managing finances at the Home of Christ Church in Saratoga, California, where Ms Wang and her husband were married.

Mr Chang and his wife reportedly set up a charity foundation, and allegedly remitted donations made by a donor that were meant for the church to the organisation instead.

The Changs also apparently persuaded the benefactor, identified in court documents as C.W., to donate US$2 million donation and loan US$3 million for a new building, but the money ended up in accounts controlled by the couple, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Ms Wang's role in the case was revealed by a US-based Chinese language daily World Journal. However, HTC has declined to comment on the report.

Ms Wang and her husband, Mr Chen Wen-chi, are seen as a power couple in Taiwan tech circles, and topped the island's rich list in 2011. They were number 37 in Forbes' "Taiwan's 50 Richest of 2015" list.

However, the smartphone maker has recently struggled to win customers in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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