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Teacher loses millions, attempts suicide in elaborate fraud case

By Quan Zhanfu | | Updated: 2024-05-20 23:17
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A woman has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for defrauding a teacher in Fujian province of millions of yuan, leading the victim to attempt suicide.

The Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court convicted Ding (surname only) on May 16 of fraud. The court found that Ding, posing as a Hong Kong resident and a financial company shareholder, convinced a middle school teacher, identified by the pseudonym Arong, to invest in a purported high-return scheme.

From August 2018 to July 2019, Arong transferred 1.5 million yuan ($220,000) to Ding. Ding then manipulated Arong into transferring another 1 million yuan in December 2019.

The court found that Ding not only stole Arong's money but also manipulated her into divorcing her husband.

Ding impersonated a police officer surnamed Chen through a fake WeChat account, engaging in a romantic relationship with Arong. Additionally, Ding introduced another "acquaintance", who was also a fictional identity created by Ding on WeChat, as a shareholder in a financial company, tricking Arong into making further investments.

Between April 2020 and October 2021, Arong transferred an additional 1.59 million yuan ($235,000) to Ding. Ding intermittently returned some funds, but Arong became suspicious in November 2021. Unable to recoup her losses and facing mounting debt, Arong attempted suicide in October 2022 but was rescued.

Arong reported the crime to police in December 2022, leading to Ding's arrest in January 2023. The court found Ding had a history of fraud and used the stolen money for personal debts, gambling, and renovations.

Ding received a 13-year prison sentence, a 300,000 yuan ($44,000) fine, and an order to compensate Arong and another victim for their losses exceeding 3.5 million yuan ($518,000).

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