Ant Fraud Yields Death Sentence – Ariana Eunjung Cha

From the Washington Post:

YINGKOU, China — To hear Chinese authorities tell it, Wang Zhendong is a danger to society, the worst kind of person, one who took advantage of his fellow citizens’ naivete and trust. Last month, a court here gave him the death penalty for his crimes.

As China moves fitfully from a planned economy to a free-market system, cracking down on fraud, embezzlement and other financial schemes has become a major priority for the government. Among the cases taken most seriously are ones that harmed common people…

In China, where more than 60 types of crimes — including economic ones like tax fraud and bribery — are punishable by death, the government has been criticized for its broad application of the death penalty. Some estimates put the number of court-ordered executions at as high as 10,000 a year. In 2005, Amnesty International logged 1,770 executions, or about 80 percent of the known total worldwide. [Full Text]

Related details A Scam in a Box


THE CONVICT

Wang Zhendong of Yingkou, China

THE PUNISHMENT

A death sentence

THE SCHEME

A Ponzi-type scam involving ant farms, promising a 40 percent yearly return. Investors got some payments before the scheme unraveled.

THE VICTIMS

More than 36,000 people invested, with some spending all their savings. Above, victims of the scheme gather outside a sales office.

March 19, 2007 10:50 PM
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Categories: Law