Associates of fugitive billionaire Guo Wengui jailed for fraud
Three former associates of fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui have been convicted of fraudulently obtaining a loan and foreign currency on June 16, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Lyu Tao, the former deputy general manager of Beijing Pangu Investment Inc, a company controlled by Guo, was sentenced to two years and three months, and Xie Honglin, the former manager of the company's financial department, received a sentence of two years with a three-year reprieve.
Yang Ying, the company's former chief financial officer, was also sentenced to two years with a three-year reprieve for fraudulently obtaining loans.
The trio was further fined and Beijing Pangu Investment Inc was ordered to pay 245 million yuan ($36 million), Xinhua added.
The three defendants pleaded guilty during a trial held at the Xigang District People's Court in Dalian, Liaoning province, on June 9. Lyu, Xie and Yang confessed to fraudulently obtaining a loan of 3.2 billion yuan from the Agricultural Bank of China in the name of the company, which they were able to successfully obtain by using fake contracts, materials and seals in 2010.
The trio then confessed in court to illegally obtaining $13.5 million worth of foreign exchanges with forged invoices during 2012.
The court said in its judgment it had showed leniency as Lyu, Xie and Yang were all acting under the orders of Guo, who fled overseas about three years ago, and had pleaded guilty and returned the money involved in the case.