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Former executives jailed for fraud

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-17 07:15

Three sentenced in first trial related to tycoon who fled overseas 3 years ago

Three ex-executives of fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui have been given prison terms for fraudulently obtaining loans and foreign currency, a court said on Friday.

Lyu Tao, former deputy general manager of Beijing Pangu Investment Inc, controlled by Guo, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison, while Xie Honglin and Yang Ying, who both worked for the company's financial department, were sentenced to two years with a three-year reprieve.

The three were also fined, and the company was asked to pay 245 million yuan ($35.9 million) in fines, according to the judgment by Xigang District People's Court in Dalian, Liaoning province.

The defendants and the representative of the company said after the announcement that they will not appeal.

During the court hearing on June 9, the three confessed to obtaining a loan of 3.2 billion yuan from Agricultural Bank of China in the name of the company by using fake contracts, materials and seals in 2010.

Lyu and Xie also said they illegally obtained $13.5 million in foreign exchanges with forged invoices in 2012.

All of them expressed regret in court, adding that they were obeying Guo, who was behind all the cheating.

"The three defendants were Guo's subordinates and acting under his orders, and they all pleaded guilty. Meanwhile, the loans have been returned. In consideration of that, we gave them lenient terms," the court said in the judgment.

It was the first trial of a series related to the company and 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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prosecutors also accused a number of people related to the company and Beijing Zenith Holdings Company of gaining benefits illegally, destroying accounting evidence and fraudulently obtaining bank loans in three separate cases, according to the court.

In addition, several connected cases involving forced transactions, offers of bribes, embezzlement and illegal detention are being handled by judicial authorities, it added.

On Tuesday, nine Chinese mainland-based construction companies jointly filed a lawsuit against Guo in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the United States, accusing him of failing to pay project debts amounting to 272 million yuan, plus bank interest, business magazine Caixin reported.

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