HANGZHOU: A businesswoman was sentenced to death in east China's Zhejiang Province for for defrauding investors of 384 million yuan (US$56 million ) on Friday.
Wu Ying, 28, former owner of the Zhejiang-based Bense Holding Group, amassed the funds by promising high returns to investors between May 2005 and February 2007, according to the Intermediate People's Court of Jinhua City.
The money was used for Wu's personal consumption and in paying back the loans and operation costs of her company, said the court.
Born to a farmer's family in Dongyang City, Zhejiang, Wu started from scratch by opening a beauty salon in 1997.
By 2006, she had become known around the nation for her Bense Group, which had interests ranging from hotels and department stores to Internet cafes, car sales, construction materials and dry-cleaning chains.
Wu was arrested in February 2007 and indicted September last year. She retracted her confession in April.