Guilty verdict for Taiwan’s high profile match-fixing scam

    The Taiwan High Court has found several star baseball players, gang members and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Tainan County Council speaker Wu Chien-pao guilty in a match-fixing scandal that rocked the Chinese Professional Basketball League (CPBL) in 2009. The defendants were accused of colluding with various illegal gambling syndicates, starting from the 2006 season, local press reported.

    Of the 35 players charged in 2010, three high-profile figures were found guilty: former Brother Elephants power hitters Chen Chih-yuan and Tsai Fong-an, and former La New Bears ace pitcher Chang Chih-chia. 

    The trio’s original jail terms of one to two-and-a-half years were reduced to between four and six months, although Chen and Tsai can commute their jail terms by paying a fine of NT$162,000 ($5,400) each, while Chang can do so with a NT$120,000 payment. Critics have denounced the sentence as being incommensurate with their crimes.

    The 2009 game-fixing scandal was the fifth to have erupted in the league and is known as the “Windshield Wiper” baseball scandal because Tsai Cheng-yi, the alleged mastermind behind the main gambling syndicate, is nicknamed “The Windshield Wiper.”

    Tsai Cheng-yi got a jail sentence of three years and eight months in the verdict, which cannot be commuted to a fine.