Ex-staffers of Guo Wengui convicted
Three former executives of fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui were convicted of fraudulently obtaining loans and banker’s acceptances on Friday, and two of them received prison sentences, a court in Henan province said on Friday.
Zhang Xincheng, former financial director of the Henan Yuda Real Estate Co, controlled by Guo Wengui, was sentenced to two years in prison, while Guo Lijie, the company’s former deputy manager, was given a 18-month sentence in jail with a two-year reprieve, according to a verdict handed down by the Kaifeng Intermediate People’s Court in Henan.
Another defendant, Xiao Yanling, the ex-deputy head of the company’s financial department, was convicted of fraudulently obtaining the banker’s acceptance, a type of short-term debt, but she was exempted from a prison term, “as her crime was less serious than the others and she voluntarily surrendered after she was detained,” the court said.
Zhang and Guo Lijie were fined undisclosed amounts, while the company was told to pay 150 million yuan ($22.33 million) in fines, according to the verdicts.
“The three defendants fraudulently obtained bank loans and acceptances of nearly 1.5 billion yuan by registering shell corporations, forging contracts and employing fake investment projects from 2008 to 2015, and committed crimes in line with the Criminal Law,” the court said.
Some of the money was used to operate Beijing Pangu Investment Inc, also controlled by Guo Wengui, while some was transferred overseas, the court said.
“Although most of the money was finally returned, 2.12 million yuan is still missing,” it said.
The court began hearing the case on July 12, and the three defendants said they committed the crimes under orders from Guo Wengui, who fled overseas about three years ago. They expressed great regret in their final statements.
“We decided to leniently punish them, as they pleaded guilty with a good attitude and were not the ones who were leaders in the crimes,” the court added.
After the verdicts were publicly announced on Friday, the three defendants said they accepted the results and would not appeal to a higher court.
Information on the trial and announcement of the results, including photos and videos, were disclosed via the court’s official micro blog.
In June, three other executives of the Beijing Pangu Investment Co were given prison terms by a court in Dalian, Liaoning province, for fraudulently obtaining loans and foreign currencies valued at 3.2 billion yuan from the Agricultural Bank of China in the name of the company.
The amount that Henan Yuda Real Estate Co was told to pay in fines
Beijing subway passengers and armed police try to tip a subway car to rescue a passenger trapped between the car and a safety barrier at the Dongzhimen station of Line 2 on Thursday. The victim, a man surnamed Zhang, who crossed over the barrier as the train arrived, was rushed to a hospital but later died.