The arrest of Zhou Yongjun aroused widespread controversy in Hong Kong, whose police handed him to their counterparts in mainland China after he tried to enter the former British colony from the United States on a false Malaysian passport.
A court in the southwestern city of Shehong has convicted Mr Zhou, 42, of attempted fraud for a transaction attempted in Hong Kong.
One of his lawyers, Mo Shaoping, said his client had faced a minimum sentence of ten years given the large amounts of money involved but was given a lighter sentence because he never took possession of the money.
Mr Mo told The Times: “In our view he should not have been put on trial in China for this so-called fraud since it involved a bank in Hong Kong and the whole case was alleged to have taken place in Hong Kong.”
Mr Zhou has denied the charges and will appeal.
Read more about Zhou Yongjun via CDT.