A county government in eastern China's Jiangsu Province spent 120 million yuan (US$17.55 million) on a so-called cultural and sports complex for local residents, but later it was turned into its office building instead.
Guannan County, one of Jiangsu's less developed areas, started construction in 2006 and said it was for residents' recreational use only, reported the Economic Information Daily.
According to the original design, which was approved by the development and reform committee of the county's higher-up Lianyungang City, the complex was to consist of an 8,000-square-meter main building, a 12,000-square-meter plaza, a 3,000-seat stadium and a 400-meter synthetic running track.
However, local residents later found that the complex's architecture resembled an administrative building rather than a recreational facility.
After the completion of the main building in October 10, 2007, the county's Party committee, government, people's congress and people's political consultative conference all moved in and the culture center became their new office building.
With a total space of 50,000 square meters, it has become the county's biggest and most advanced building.
The plaza in front of the building was equipped with man-made river, bridge, sightseeing platform and music fountain.
The county government's latest move was to invest 280 million yuan on a 120,000-square-meter administrative complex with 12 office buildings for its agencies including public security bureau, taxation bureau, financial bureau and traffic bureau.
But the whole project was under the name of building a business club, the report said.
Two years ago, a former Henan provincial Party official notorious for building a replica White House as his office building was sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes from builders on the project, and embezzling and misusing public funds.
Feng Liucheng, 50, became Party secretary of a district in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, in 1999 and built six luxury office buildings during his time in power.
The "White House" stood in 35.33 hectares of land which included a lake and a man-made waterfall.