China sentences tycoon Xiao Jianhua to 13 years, fines his company $8.1 billion

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People walk past the building with the listed address of the Tomorrow Holdings office in Beijing, China, February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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BEIJING, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A Shanghai court has sentenced Chinese-Canadian billionaire Xiao Jianhua, who has not been seen in public since 2017, to 13 years in prison and fined his Tomorrow Holdings conglomerate 55.03 billion yuan ($8.1 billion), a record in China.

Xiao and Tomorrow Holdings were charged with illegally transferring public deposits, betraying the use of entrusted property, and illegally using funds and bribery, the Shanghai First Intermediate Court said.

It added that the sentence was softened because both had admitted their crimes and cooperated in recovering illegal profits and recovering losses.

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Chinese-born Xiao, who is known to have ties to the elite of the Chinese Communist Party, was last taken in a wheelchair from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong in the early hours with his head covered, a source told close. at the tycoon at the time to Reuters.

Xiao and Tomorrow have “seriously violated a financial management order” and “violated the state’s financial security,” the court said, with the tycoon also being fined 6.5 million yuan for the crimes.

From 2001 to 2021, Xiao and Tomorrow gave shares, real estate, cash and other assets to government officials for a total of more than 680 million yuan, in order to evade financial supervision and obtain illegal benefits, the court said.

In July 2020, nine of the group’s related institutions were seized by Chinese regulators as part of a crackdown on risks posed by financial conglomerates. read more

The nine companies included four insurers – Tianan Property Insurance Co of China, Huaxia Life Insurance Co, Tianan Life Insurance Co and Yi’an P&C Insurance Co – as well as New Times Trust Co and New China Trust Co. The other three were Chengtong Securities, Guosheng Securities and Guosheng Futures.

The court said that from 2004, Xiao and Tomorrow controlled multiple financial institutions and internet financial platforms, including the failed Baoshang Bank, through multiple layers of indirect shareholders and anonymous ownership.

It said Xiao used the illegal profits for the acquisition of financial institutions, securities trading and foreign investment. But it acknowledged its efforts to make amends.

“Xiao Jianhua has taken commendable actions, so he was given a more lenient sentence in accordance with the law,” it said.

When asked about Xiao’s right to consular access as a Canadian citizen during a regular briefing on Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Xiao was not entitled to such rights because Chinese law does not recognize dual citizenship. .

The Canadian embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tomorrow Holdings was not immediately available for comment.

($1 = 6.8056 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)

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Reporting by Tony Munroe, Ziyi Tang, Ryan Woo, Ellen Zhang, Eduardo Baptista and Meg Shen; Editing by Kim Coghill and Stephen Coates

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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