Taiwan chip executive faces insider trading charges

The chairman of Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor faces prison time and a fine for alleged insider trading.

Taiwanese prosecutors have charged the chairman of Taiwanese memory chip maker Powerchip Semiconductor with insider stock trading, and said he faces four and a half years in prison and a fine of up to NT$60 million [M] (US$1.97 million) if convicted.

Frank Huang [CQ], Powerchip's chairman, allegedly oversaw the illegal trade of over NT$600 million worth of shares in chip maker Macronix International shortly before Powerchip announced a deal to buy a chip factory from Macronix, according to a Thursday statement from the Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office.

Profits from the transactions totaled over NT$11 million, prosecutors said.

Powerchip and Macronix started talks over the purchase of a 12-inch (300 millimeter) chip factory in October of 2005, prosecutors said. As the deal was being discussed, Huang directed the purchase of Macronix shares through several investment firms up to just two days before the chip makers formally announced the deal, on Jan. 18, 2006.

Huang could not immediately be reached for comment. A Powerchip spokesman said the company would make a formal statement on the issue at a later time.

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Dan Nystedt

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