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Former bank leader gets death sentence for bribery

By Yang Zekun | | Updated: 2022-12-28 19:31
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Wu Hua, former head of the Bank of Wenzhou, received a suspended death sentence on Wednesday for illegally accepting property worth hundreds of millions of yuan.

The Wenzhou Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang province issued the verdict against Wu Hua, who had been charged with taking bribes, embezzling public funds and illegally issuing loans and financial certificates.

The court sentenced Wu to death with a two-year reprieve for bribery. He was also given 12 years in prison for embezzlement, 10 years and a 200,000 yuan fine ($28,679) for illegally issuing loans and seven years for illegally distributing financial certificates.

The court also revoked Wu's political rights for life and ordered the confiscation of all his property.

After the reprieve, his sentence could be commuted to life in prison without parole.

In addition, three other people involved in Wu's case were sentenced to prison with terms ranging from eight to 16 years. Their ill-gotten gains will be confiscated and handed over to the State treasury, the court ordered.

From 2013 to 2019, Wu took advantage of his position as head of the Bank of Wenzhou to help others in matters such as credit approval, loan issuance, bank guarantee issuance and enterprise financing. In return, he illegally accepted property with a total value of more than 275.44 million yuan, the court said.

It added that Wu and others embezzled 508 million yuan of the bank's funds from 2013 to 2015, either for personal use or as loans to others for profit-making ventures.

From 2011 to 2018, he lent others 501 million yuan in violation of State regulations, causing the bank to lose about 30.26 million yuan.

And from 2015 to 2017, he worked with others to issue guarantees worth 300 million yuan without the approval of the bank's loan review committee and board of directors.

According to the court, the amount of bribes Wu accepted was significant and the impact on society was extremely serious. He severely harmed the interests of the State and the people and should be strongly punished according to the law, it said.

Wu, 54, a native of Zhejiang, joined the Communist Party of China in 1992. He served as head of the Bank of Wenzhou from April 2010 until August 2019, when he was placed under investigation by the city's anti-graft authorities.

He was expelled from the Party and removed from his post in May 2020.

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