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3 linked to fugitive plead guilty

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-10 07:37

Former executives of fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a loan and foreign currency during their trial in Dalian, Liaoning province, on Friday.

The three former executives, Lyu Tao, Xie Honglin and Yang Ying, confessed to fraudulently obtaining loan of 3.2 billion yuan ($471 million) from the Agricultural Bank of China in the name of Beijing Pangu Investment Inc, a company controlled by Guo, by using fake contracts, materials and seals in 2010. The company was also sued on the same charge.

Lyu and Xie also confessed in court that they fraudulently obtained foreign exchanges of $13.5 million with forged invoices in 2012.

The defendants said in court that they were sorry for their wrongdoing and that Guo was behind all the cheating.

"I feel guilty for what I did and will accept my punishment. I had little legal awareness at that time and I blindly listened to Guo," said Yang, former chief financial officer of the company.

Xie, ex-manager of Beijing Pangu's financial department, and Lyu, the company's former deputy general manager, also said they did not think too much when they obeyed the orders from Guo.

No verdict was given on Friday, and prosecutors said Guo, whose whereabouts is unknown, would be handled in a separate case.

The trial, publicly heard at the Xigang District People's Court in Dalian on Friday, was the first trial of a series related to Guo, who fled overseas about three years ago.

Interpol issued a "red notice"-the closest thing to an international arrest warrant-for Guo in April, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Other people suspected of bribery, intentional destruction of accounting documents and forced trading related to the case are also under legal procedures, the court said.

During Friday's trial, prosecutors said the company and the three individuals breached the Criminal Law, and they should be punished for loan fraud and foreign currency fraud.

Their lawyers asked for lenient penalties, saying the three acted under Guo's instigation.

Friday's court proceedings were broadcast live via the court's micro blog.

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