Tycoon Jailed in China Scandal

Shanghai financier Zhang Rongkun (张荣坤) was sentenced to 19 years jail today for his role in one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals in recent years. From AFP (via The Times, South Africa):

Zhang, who was at the centre of the multi-billion dollar graft scandal that led to the fall of disgraced Shanghai party boss Chen Liangyu, was convicted on five counts of bribery and market fraud, Caijing magazine said.

The Songyuan city court in Jilin province also meted out fines of 282 million yuan (40 million dollars) to two companies controlled by Zhang, Feidian Development Investment and Development and Fuxi Investments.

Zhang, who said he would appeal, also had personal assets worth 1.3 billion yuan confiscated.

The scandal that rocked Shanghai politics when it emerged in mid-2006 has led to a string of tough convictions among many of the 20 or more officials and businessmen involved in the theft of the economic hub’s pension fund.

The State Audit Office revealed new figures last month that put the amount of pilfered cash at 33.9 billion yuan (4.8 billion dollars), 10 times more than the original estimate of 480 million dollars.

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