Wanted Taiwanese fugitive dies in a car accident in California. Although this sounds like the end of a bootleg version of a Rush Hour movie it is the furthest thing from it. Wang You-theng was a 89 year old Taiwanese most wanted fugitive. He died in a five car pileup about 50 miles outside of Los Angeles. His wife survived the crash suffering only minor injuries. She experienced burn marks to her left shoulder and arm. Her condition was stable. Three of the five cars that were involved caught fire during the wreckage. The accident was believed to have been started by a pickup truck sideswiping a car before all the other cars included hit each other causing a chain reaction. Wang and his wife was traveling to make preparations for his daughter’s wedding.
Wang had many charges pending against him including insider trading, money laundering and fraud. He was believed and accused of laundering off more than $9 billion in Rebar assets. Rebar was founded in 1959 by Wang. This company built steel beams and became very profitable. He has been on the lam from Taiwan since December of 2006 with his wife. Wang fleed from his homeland led him to spend many days in Shanghai, China. Following his short stay there Wang and his wife flew to San Francisco. After spending three months in the U.S Wang traveled from Los Angeles to Singapore to attempt to go into hiding in Myanmar. Wang and his wife were then returned to Los Angeles where Wang You-theng was detained in an immigration detention center for six months.
One thing to note is that the U.S and Taiwan do not have any formal diplomatic ties or extradition treaty. This means that either country is not obligated to search and return a criminal seeking asylum in the other country. The Foreign Ministry have not replied to questions about efforts being made in the United States to return wang back to Taiwan. The United States has been provided evidence of Wang’s involvement in his alleged crimes. This was done so the United States could use the provided information to “decide whether the illegal actions of the party involved posed a threat to United States interests”. This statement was in reference to the money laundering allegations.
It is unknown if Wang would have been charged had he stayed alive but the old tycoon met an untimely death. Who knows if Wang would have ever brought to justice for fraud, insider trading and money laundering. The founder of Rebar did not commit any crimes in the United States so by keeping his nose clean he was able to stay off the radar.
The Foreign Ministry did not respond to questions about efforts made to have Wang returned to Taiwan.