Two jailed for life over 2.4 bln USD China pyramid scheme
January 10,2018   By:Xinhua

HANGZHOU, Jan. 10, 2018 -- Two people have been sentenced to life in prison in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou for their roles in a 15.6 billion yuan (2.4 billion U.S. dollar) pyramid scheme.

Principals Huang Dingfang and Cai Keyi were convicted of fraudulent fundraising Monday afternoon at Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court.

Hang set up Longyan E-commerce Co., Ltd. in January 2015 and worked with another firm owned by Cai to swindle 200,000 investors out of 15.6 billion yuan, the court said.

The pair promised annual returns of more than 250 percent if investors became members by paying 4,000 yuan each and then bought tea and company shares.

They set up a third firm to sell shares saying that the firm would go public in the United States.

Ding Wenping, chief financial officer of Longyan E-commerce, and Sun Shijia, its president, were sentenced to 12 and 10 years in prison, respectively.

Seventeen others were given sentences of up to nine years after being found guilty of illegally absorbing public deposits.

The court ordered the 21 defendants to return 5.7 billion yuan to more than 170,000 investors.

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