The Taipei district court handed television host Jacky Wu a suspended 22-month sentence for a scam on Friday, after he agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors, said China Times.
The 51-year-old was also fined NT$3 million. Wu, the owner of a LED company, had been indicted for signing a make-believe contract with a friend and cashing in promissory notes paid for non-existent products He had faced up to 10 years in jail.
According to the newspaper, the prosecutors had been impressed by his performance at this year’s Golden Melody Awards, where he moved and amused the audience with a medley of 13 Hokkien numbers. He was such a hit that his medley was the highest-rated part of the night.
His lawyer told China Times that the prosecutors played a video of his performance in court, saying he “should stay in the entertainment business to serve the public” and offering him a plea bargain, reports ST Communities.
The lawyer said: “I must emphasise that in the two years we fought this lawsuit, we never pleaded guilty.” He said they had not expected to be offered a plea bargain.
On Friday, Wu swore by his parents that he had done nothing against his conscience. In a press statement, he said he had been implicated in the case by a “childhood friend”. He added: “I can choose to be cautious but I can’t choose my childhood. Some frustration you have to swallow yourself. Heaven knows, Earth knows, you know, I know.”