11 jailed after billionaire's suicide in N China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 17, 2012
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A Chinese court Tuesday sentenced 11 people to prison for illegal financing, eight months after their billionaire boss burnt himself to death in Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Altogether 11 people, all employees of the Baotou Huilong Trading Co., Ltd., were given sentences from one to seven years for illegal financing of up to 2.22 billion yuan (353 million U.S. dollars), according to a statement released by the People's Court in Jiuyuan District of Baotou city, where the company was based.

In addition to the 11, another employee was found guilty but was not sentenced to prison as she helped pay back investors.

For the same reason, Liu Mei'e, who was among the 11 and sentenced to three years in jail, was given a three-year reprieve.

Jin Libin, born in 1967, late chairman of the company, lit himself on fire in a car on April 13. Subsequent investigations showed the company was 943 million yuan in debt when Jin killed himself.

Police later found that Jin's company had raised 2.22 billion yuan from the public and took 217 million yuan in bank loans from June 2004 to April 2011.

The company initially could make ends meet, but later, in order to polish its image and go public, it borrowed continuously and thus became shackled with huge interest repayments.

At Tuesday's trial, the company was fined 500,000 yuan. Most defendants also received fines ranging from 80,000 to 20,000 yuan.

After the trial, some of the sentenced said they would file an appeal.

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