28 jailed in Beijing investment scamMarch 23rd, 2009 - 5:19 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, March 23 (Xinhua) Twenty-eight people were jailed Monday by a Beijing court that found them guilty of running an investment scam that defrauded over 22,000 investors.
The accused, who all worked for the Yilin Wood Company, were alleged to have defrauded more than 22,000 investors of 1.68 billion yuan ($246 million) by promising high returns on sales of forestry plantations.
The scam, which is also referred to as a pyramid scheme, involves one salesperson recruiting other sales people, who in turn recruit more.
The 28 accused were given jail terms ranging from one to 15 years, said sources in the Second Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing.
Zhao Pengyun, the scheme’s leader, was jailed for 15 years and fined 300.34 million yuan ($44 million). Other accused were fined from 200,000 to 70 million yuan and six were given suspended sentences.
The judge said the culprits made illicit gains and their operation severely disrupted the market economy.
The ringleaders used the money to purchase houses, cars, jewellery, watches and antiques. One even spent the proceeds on releasing his own music album and cosmetic surgery.
While in jail in early 2004 for another scam, Zhao, 39, planned the pyramid scheme with two other inmates.
Although pyramid selling is allowed in some countries, it was banned in China by a cabinet regulation in 1998. Authorities said such schemes have become synonymous with cheating and fraud.
- Teenaged hacker jailed in China - May 04, 2012
- 21 jailed in China for telecom fraud - Jul 22, 2011
- Five jailed for duping Chinese civil service candidate - Apr 26, 2012
- China's Wal-Mart stores closed over pork fraud - Oct 10, 2011
- Nine jailed for hacking in China - Dec 17, 2011
- 18 mafia leaders jailed in China - Jun 01, 2010
- Man jailed for online gambling in China - Jul 22, 2010
- China jails 14 people in tainted milk case - Apr 30, 2011
- Chinese patient jailed for hospital stabbing - Apr 21, 2012
- 16 Chinese held in kidney transplant racket - Mar 01, 2012
- Over 380,000 people to be relocated in 2012 in China - Jan 20, 2012
- Chinese cemetery fined for selling oversized graves - Apr 14, 2012
- Six Chinese jailed for cheating American - Mar 12, 2012
- Indian man faces deportation from Britain - Mar 09, 2012
- Global manhunt for Chinese rogue banker - Mar 27, 2012
Tags: antiques, beijing court, cosmetic surgery, culprits, forestry plantations, fraud, inmates, investment scam, jail terms, jewellery watches, market economy, music album, own music, proceeds, pyramid scheme, pyramid selling, salesperson, sentences, xinhua, yuan