China Focus: 3 investment company employees sentenced for fraud

DALIAN, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Three people working for Beijing Pangu Investment Company have been given prison terms for fraudulently obtaining loans and foreign exchange, a court announced Friday.

The company's senior executive Lyu Tao was sentenced to two years and three months in prison, while another two employees Xie Honglin and Yang Ying were both sentenced to two years in prison with a three-year reprieve, according to the People's Court of Xigang District, northeast China's Dalian city.

The company was fined 245 million yuan (over 35.96 million U.S. dollars) for fraudulently obtaining loans, according to the court ruling.

The three defendants and the representative of the company accepted the ruling and said they would not appeal.

Evidence showed that fugitive Guo Wengui, who controlled the company, directed the three individuals to apply for loans from banks with fake contracts, stamps and financial statements, which disturbed financial order and threatened financial security, the ruling said.

Lyu Tao and Xie Honglin fraudulently obtained a large amount of foreign exchange with falsified documents, disturbing the country's financial and foreign exchange management order.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in April that Interpol had issued a "red notice" for Guo Wengui.

On June 9, the People's Court of Xigang District opened a trial into the suspected crimes of the company and the three individuals.

During the trial, the defendants did not object to any criminal facts and charges from prosecutors. They pleaded guilty, expressed regret and thanked judicial organs for the lawful handling of their cases.

The defendants asked for leniency, saying that their actions were made at the instruction or suggestion of Guo Wengui.

The court agreed that the three were accessories. Moreover, Xie gave himself up to the police, while Lyu and Yang confessed before the trial, and they have all returned the loans involved in the case and were given lenient terms accordingly.

The trial is part of a series of cases involving Beijing Pangu Investment Company and Beijing Zenith Holdings Company.

A number of other personnel tied to the two companies have also been sued in three separate cases, accused of taking advantages of positions to gain benefits illegally, destroying accounting evidence and fraudulently obtaining bank loans.

Judicial authorities revealed that they are handling several connected cases involving forced transactions, offering bribes, embezzlement and unlawful detention.

[ Editor: Xueying ]


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