The growing story about the May arrests for political fraud of Taiwan Civil Government leaders by the exiled Republic of China is laden with intrigue and mystery. Is Roger Lin, founder of TCG, the mastermind of a sophisticated con game using an elaborate international hoax to deceive donors into parting with their money? ROC prosecutors say that is exactly what has happened.
Charged under organized crime statutes, Lin and others, including wife Julian, face long terms in prison for allegedly swindling 315 donors with false claims about Taiwan's future. TCG seeks to expel the ROC from Taiwan with United States assistance. Prosecutors say that will never happen and was a false goal to perpetrate the fraud. Taiwanese news reports mention unnamed and unindicted Washington co-conspirators and allude to public relations events as deceptive, designed to give false impressions to keep donor money rolling in.
ROC prosecutors need to take a crash course on American politics if they think TCG's lobbying efforts were mere window dressing for a scam. The election of Donald Trump was a watershed event for TCG spending in Washington with lobbyist fees, advertising, event hosting, media sponsorship, litigation and junkets costing several million dollars. No matter what ROC prosecutors may think about how Washington works, the reality is that TCG was following time-tested, standard procedure for influencing public policy. TCG was spending money and getting results.
Shortly after the 2016 election, Roger Lin renegotiated his contract with Global Vision Communications, TCG's registered Foreign Agent. Neil Hare, president of Global, received a huge increase in work from the group, going from passing out news releases and making a five-minute video clip to heavy duty lobbying. Hare's 2017 contract jumped dramatically to $360,000 and his 2018 was even more at $560,000.
Hare explained the huge increases in reports to the Justice Department under requirements of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. "We have executed a new contract with them to conduct outreach efforts to Members of Congress, the Trump Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State to educate them on the Taiwan Civil Government's mission."
Hare has been hard at work on his new orders and worked toward a dinner date with Ed Royce, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Royce is a member of the California State Society which has an annual dinner with the California Congressional delegation, of which Royce is a member. The TCG donation to the California State Society of $7,500 was enough to buy three tickets to the exclusive dinner.
Hare, with the help of publicist Shelley Hymes, connected Julian Lin to Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President. Hare was also at another get-together between Trump cheerleader Nigel Farage and Julian Lin. Hare arranged for TCG to sponsor Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at a Heritage Foundation event.
TCG delegation members were ready to start meeting Members of Congress when the fraud arrests in Taiwan brought an abrupt slowdown to the lobbying campaign with two Representatives canceling a TCG sponsored Roll Call Live show.