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Five suspects connected to fugitive billionaire Guo plead guilty

By Hou Liqiang in Dalian, Liaoning | | Updated: 2017-08-11 14:53

Five suspects pleaded guilty to misappropriating funds and encroaching duty to help fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui to illegally possess 400 million yuan fund during a trial in Dalian, Liaoning province, on Friday.

Qu Long, a member of the board of directors of Tianjin Huatai Holding Group Co Ltd and Zhao Yun'an, former legal representative of Huatai were charged with crime of misappropriation of funds and Gao Song, Ma Nan and Cheng Xiuhua who worked for Beijing Pangu Investment, controlled by Guo Wengui, were charged with crime of duty encroachment, according to Xigang District People's Court in Dalian.

After Zhao was detained by Tianjin police for some suspected crime in May 2008, his wife asked Guo Wengui to use his relationship to get Zhao released. Guo agreed but asked Zhao to lend him 100 million yuan after he was released, according to the court.

Released on bail, Zhao suggested selling Beijing Heda, the biggest shareholder of Huatai controlled by Zhao, to Guo at a price of 300 million yuan as he didn't have the 100 million yuan he promised to lend.

Though Guo had not paid the money, Qu, sent by Guo, became a member of board of directors of Huatai and signed a share transfer agreement with Heda, making Guo holder of 74 percent of Huatai's share.

Guo and Qu managed to transfer fund of 428.7 million yuan from Huatai to a company controlled by Qu without holding meetings with board of shareholders and board of directors after Zhao helped them get seals and bankcard needed for the transfer and 400 million yuan of that 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 Song, vice-general manager of Beijing Pangu, Ma Nan, Beijing Pangu's legal director, and Cheng Xiuhua, 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 Ltd (Huatai changed to the name in November 2008) to Zhengzhou Haohang, a company that doesn't have the capacity to pay the debt, by forging documents, it said.

All these make Yuanrun, former Huatai, almost impossible to get its 400 million yuan back.

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

All the five said their actions were based on order and said they accepted all the charges from the court.

"I failed to abide by the law though I received special education in law and worked in law-related policies for a long time. I will not only be punished by law due to my conduct, but I also have hurt my family members and relatives," Gao Song said, adding he "deeply regrets what he did".

It was the third set of trials related to Guo Wengui, who fled China after he was accused 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, which was controlled by Guo, were convicted on August 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 and two of them were given prison terms in a court in Henan province.

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