HAIKOU - A civil servant in the southern city of Haikou, Hainan province was sentenced to life imprisonment for defrauding 306 people of money and property over a period of four years, a court announced on Thursday.
The defendant, surnamed Chen, deceived victims by making false promises to help them illegally obtain public housing and entrance to school and job positions, according to the Haikou Intermediate People's Court.
Chen, a public servant in a district government, received 33.18 million yuan ($5.5 million) as down payment from those he defrauded between 2008 and 2012, the court said.
He spent all of the money on lottery purchases, online gambling and personal expenses.
The court ruled that Chen was guilty of fraud as he cheated people using false information in exchange for huge sums of money.
It is not yet known whether Chen will appeal to a higher court.