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China businessman jailed for contract fraud

Updated: 2013-11-27 14:21
( Xinhua)

BEIJING -- A Chinese real estate developer was sentenced on Tuesday to 11 years in jail for contract fraud, a Beijing court said.

Yu Jinyong, who was once mired in a series of controversies, over matters including a fake diploma and threats against reporters, was found guilty of making 522,000 yuan ($85,670) in the fraud, according to the verdict from the Haidian District People's Court.

Yu, who once served as president of the commercial real estate arm of Gome Group, China's largest home appliance retailer, was ordered to pay back all the illegal earnings, it said. The 50-year-old was also fined 100,000 yuan.

Yu, who claims to be chairman of China Evertime Investment Holdings Group, signed an agreement in 2003 to build an industrial zone for a county in eastern Shandong province even though he lacked credentials and funds, the court found.

Before the zone was ready for bidding for construction services with government approvals, he launched the bidding process and received 522,000 yuan in performance security and other fees from the Beijing-based Sinosoft Co, according to the court.

Yu refused to pay back the illegal earnings after Sinosoft Co found the irregularities.

He claimed the China Evertime Investment Holdings Group had a registered capital of HK$1 billion and total assets of 180 billion yuan. But the company only had a registered capital of HK$10,000 before it was closed in August 2011.

In August this year, Yu, who has 1.14 million followers on the popular Twitter-equivalent Sina Weibo, exposed online a manipulated land sale in Tianjin involving a district government and a real estate firm in Beijing.