A SENIOR Taiwanese official based in the United States was found guilty of labor fraud and was deported to Taiwan over the weekend over allegations of mistreating two Filipino household workers.
Jacqueline Liu, former director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City, apologized for her actions after Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) referred her case to the Control Yuan for investigation.
According to a report published in Taipei Times, she arrived in the country on Wednesday last week and expressed "deep regret and apologies" for supposedly tarnishing the government’s image because of the case.
But she denied allegations of mistreatment. "I hereby solemnly declare that [the charges] are not true," she said.
Liu, 64, was referring to allegations that she confiscated the passports of her Filipino maids, monitored them using surveillance cameras and verbally abused them.
Reportedly, Liu also treated previous household keepers similarly.
On November 10 last year, the Taiwanese official was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of labor fraud in connection with her mistreatment of the two Filipino household workers, who both travelled to the United States for her with B-1 (visitor for business) visas.
Liu admitted to fraudulently entering into employment contracts with the two maids on November 18 last year in a court statement, saying that she paid them significantly less than the contractual amount and forced them to work excessive hours.
The court on January 27 accepted the plea agreement and ordered Liu to time served and to pay $80,044 in restitution to the two housekeepers, representing full payment for the hours they actually worked.
Meanwhile, the MOFA last week suspended Liu for the duration of the investigation and also cut her salary to about NT$26,000 ($879) from NT$97,000 based on rules governing awards and penalties for public servants.
The official said she would cooperate with the Control Yuan and Taipei District Prosecutor's Office in their respective investigations to "reveal the truth."
Ministry spokesman James Chang said that Liu was suspended for "dereliction of duty." (CVB/Sunnex)