Man sentenced for lying mom’s death over funeral subsidy

June 9th, 2009 - 8:12 am ICT by IANS  

Taipei, June 9 (DPA) A Taiwan teacher, who applied for a funeral subsidy for his mother before she died, has been sentenced to seven years and two months in prison on embezzlement charges, a newspaper said Tuesday.
Lin Min-shun, a teacher at the Sanhsian Primary School in Taipei County, applied for a funeral subsidy for his mother June 17, 1998, saying his mother was dying, when she was actually critically ill, the Liberty Times reported.

He received the subsidy of 208,500 Taiwan dollars ($6,300), but his mother did not die until August 2.

In Taiwan, a civil servant receives a funeral subsidy equivalent to five months’ salary, when his or her parent or spouse has died.

After Lin received the funeral subsidy, he lent it to the school accountant Wei Li-hua, who had approved the funeral subsidy for Lin without checking his mother’s death certificate.

Lin later sued Wei when she did not pay back the money on time. Lin also accused Wei of enticing him to apply for the funeral subsidy for his mother, so that Wei could borrow the money.

Wei denied encouraging Lin to apply for the funeral subsidy but confessed to violating rules in approving it, the Liberty Times said.

The court case dragged on for several years. On Monday, the Panchiao District Count sentenced Wei to seven years imprisonment for fraud for violating rules in approving the funeral subsidy, and sentenced Lin to seven years and two months on embezzlement charges for applying for funeral subsidy before his mother had died.

The judge said that it was unlikely that Lin applied for funeral subsidy for his mother because Wei asked him to do so, because Taiwanese believe that saying one’s parent is dead before the parent has died brings bad luck to the family.

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