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Former Bank of China head sentenced for embezzlement

By CAO YIN | | Updated: 2023-12-13 20:38
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Xu Guojun, former head of a Bank of China sub-branch in Guangdong province, stands trial. [Photo/Jiangmen Intermediate People's Court in Guangdong province]

Xu Guojun, former head of a Bank of China sub-branch in Guangdong province, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption and embezzlement, a provincial court announced on Wednesday.

Xu has also been deprived of political rights for life, with confiscation of all his assets, according to the ruling made by the Jiangmen Intermediate People's Court.

His illicit gains and relevant interests have been ordered to turn over to the national treasury, it added.

Xu, former head of the Bank of China Kaiping branch, fled to the United States in 2001 after his offenses were exposed, and a year later, Interpol issued a red notice to track him. He was repatriated to China in November 2021.

According to the court, Xu was discovered to have used his various work posts such as office director and head of the Kaiping sub-branch of BOC from 1993 to 2001, along with bank officials Xu Chaofan, Yu Zhendong and others, to embezzle public funds through making false loans to draw money from the bank, occupying normal company loan repayment funds or directly transferring funds.

He was found grafted 900 million yuan ($125.4 million) and embezzled another 1.4 billion yuan, the court said.

"Xu's behavior has constituted the crimes of corruption and embezzlement, with extremely large amounts and causing huge losses for the country and the people," it said. "Considering he confessed to the offenses, we leniently punished him."

Xu said he accepted the convictions and the sentence, and would not appeal to higher court.

Xu Chaofan and Yu, two others involved in the case, were repatriated in 2004 and 2018 respectively after they fled to the US.

In 2006, Yu was sentenced to 12 years for corruption and embezzlement. In 2021, Xu Chaofan was sentenced to 13 years for the same charges.

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