Legal proceedings have begun against a former employee of Taiwan-based production and distribution company A Really Happy Film (Taipei) who is alleged to have embezzled $3.3 million (NT$100 million) of the company’s funds over a four-year period.
A Really Happy Film is controlled by Hong Kong filmmaker Jeffrey Chan, who is also the COO of leading mainland Chinese studio Bona Film Group. He is also associated with Distribution Workshop and Just Creative Studios. Really Happy was responsible for the distribution of such acclaimed titles as “The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful,” which won the best picture, best leading actress and best supporting actress prizes at the 54th Golden Horse Awards in 2017.
The Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office has formally charged a woman identified only by her surname, Chen, who is believed to have been employed by the firm as an accountant. She is alleged to have manipulated the company’s accounts for personal gain.
Contacted by Variety, Chan offered no comment. In a statement later posted to its Facebook account, A Really Happy Film said: “Former employee Chen has been indicted by the public prosecutor on charges of embezzlement. Now that the matter has become an ongoing legal case, the law prevents any member of staff making comment…We ask for the understanding of all our friends. At present the company is operating normally.”
Taiwan media reported that Chen manipulated the financial entries of three of Chan’s companies. She allegedly wired the money and took cash out of the company accounts to pay off her debts and for other personal uses.
It was reported that the company did not notice the problematic accounts until the end of last year, when it discovered that some of the entries did not match the books of its subsidiaries. It was reported that Chen turned herself in to the prosecutor’s office.