19 May 2010

Chinese tycoon sentenced to prison for fraud

5:58 pm on 19 May 2010

State media in China say a businessman who once topped the national rich list has been sentenced to 14 years' jail for fraud.

The Xinhua news agency reports that Huang Guangyu was convicted on charges of bribery, insider trading and illegal business dealings, and also fined 600 million yuan ($120 million).

Huang owned 1300 domestic-appliance shops - the second largest such chain in the country.

The court in Beijing said the Gome chain and Huang's property development company Beijing Pengrun Real Estate had between them paid out 4.56 million yuan in bribes between 2006 and 2008.

The bribes, in the form of cash and properties, were paid to five government officials in exchange for corporate benefits.

The BBC reports that previous high-profile corruption cases in China have led to death sentences for the defendants.

While Huang's crimes were "extremely serious", the court said that it had shown leniency in sentencing because he had admitted guilt and co-operated with investigators.