Five plead guilty in case linked to fugi­tive Guo

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By HOU LIQIANG in Dalian, Liaon­ing houliqiang@chi­

Five sus­pects pleaded guilty in Dalian, Liaon­ing province, on Fri­day to em­bez­zling funds and mak­ing use of their for­mer work posts to help fugi­tive Chi­nese bil­lion­aire Guo Wen­gui il­le­gally pos­sess 400 mil­lion yuan ($60 mil­lion).

Xi­gang District Peo­ple’s Court in Dalian pub­licly heard the case, in which Qu Long, a mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors of Tian­jin Hu­atai Hold­ing Group Co, and Zhao Yun’an, for­mer le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Hu­atai, were charged with fund em­bez­zle­ment. Gao Song, Ma Nan and Cheng Xi­uhua, who worked for Bei­jing Pangu In­vest­ment, which was con­trolled by Guo, were charged with duty en­croach­ment.

Based on a rec­om­men­da­tion, Zhao’s wife sought out Guo to help re­lease Zhao, who was de­tained in May 2008 for other sus­pected crimes. Guo agreed to help, but asked Zhao to lend him 100 mil­lion yuan af­ter he was freed, pros­e­cu­tors of the district said.

A month later, Zhao was freed, and he thought the re­lease was at­trib­uted to Guo. So he sug­gested sell­ing Bei­jing Heda, the big­gest share­holder of Hu­atai — which was con­trolled by

Zhao — to Guo for 300 mil­lion yuan, be­cause he did not have the 100 mil­lion yuan he promised to lend, the pros­e­cu­tors said.

Though Guo hasn’t paid the money, Qu — sent by Guo — signed a share trans­fer agree­ment with Heda and then be­came a mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors of Hu­atai, mak­ing Guo holder of 74 per­cent of Hu­atai.

Guo and Qu man­aged to trans­fer about 428.7 mil­lion yuan from Hu­atai to a com­pany con­trolled by Qu with­out hold­ing meet­ings with the board of share­hold­ers or board of di­rec­tors af­ter Zhao helped them get seals and a bank card needed for the trans­fer. Of that, 400 mil­lion yuan was used to pay back debt of Bei­jing Pangu In­vest­ment and Bei­jing Zenith Hold­ings, both con­trolled by Guo, and Guo’s per­sonal debt, said the procu­ra­torate.

Gao, vice-gen­eral man­ager of Bei­jing Pangu; Ma, Bei­jing Pangu’s le­gal di­rec­tor; and Cheng, an em­ployee of Bei­jing Pangu’s le­gal depart­ment, helped Guo trans­fer He­nan Yuda Real Es­tate Co’s debt of 360 mil­lion yuan with Yuan­run Hold­ing Group Co (the name was changed from Hu­atai in Novem­ber 2008) to Zhengzhou Hao­hang, a com­pany that doesn’t have the ca­pac­ity to pay the debt, by forg­ing doc­u­ments, the procu­ra­torate said.

Guo is the ac­tual con­trol­ling share­holder of both Yuda and Hao­hang.

All five sus­pects at­trib­uted their mis­con­duct to fol­low­ing Guo’s in­struc­tions, and they said they ac­cepted all of the charges.

“I failed to abide by the law, though I re­ceived spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion on law and was in work re­lated to law for a long time. My con­duct not only will leave my­self pun­ished by law, but also has hurt my fam­ily mem­bers and rel­a­tives,” Gao said, adding that he “deeply re­grets” what he did.

It was the third set of tri­als re­lated to Guo, who fled China un­der sus­pi­cion of mul­ti­ple crimes in Au­gust 2014 and is cur­rently listed on an In­ter­pol “red no­tice” — the clos­est thing to an in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rant — for wanted fugi­tives.

In June, three for­mer em­ploy­ees of Bei­jing Pangu were given prison terms in the same court in Dalian for fraud­u­lently ob­tain­ing loans and for­eign cur­rency val­ued at 3.2 bil­lion yuan from the Agri­cul­tural Bank of China in the name of the com­pany.

Three for­mer ex­ec­u­tives of He­nan Yuda Real Es­tate Co were con­victed on Aug 4 of fraud­u­lently ob­tain­ing loans and bill ac­cep­tance of nearly 1.5 bil­lion yuan by reg­is­ter­ing shell cor­po­ra­tions, forg­ing con­tracts and em­ploy­ing fake in­vest­ment projects from 2008 to 2015. Two of them were given prison terms by a court in He­nan province.

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