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Ant-breeding swindler executed death penalty
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The general manager of a bogus ant-breeding project that swindled 3 billion yuan (417 million U.S. dollars) from investors was executed for his crimes on Wednesday in northeast China's Liaoning Province, a local official said.

Wang was board chairman of Yingkou Donghua Trading (Group) Co., Ltd. in Liaoning. Wang and the company managers had appealed to the provincial high court after the first trial last year. The Liaoning Provincial Higher People's Court in February made a judgement upholding the death penalty for Wang Zhendong on the charge of financial fraud. The judgment also won the approval of the Supreme People's Court.

The 15 company managers were given jail sentences of between five and 10 years by the Yingkou Intermediate People's Court last February.

All of Wang's property was confiscated, while the managers received fines ranging from 100,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan.

Investors in the fictitious massive ant-breeding project were promised by Wang a return of 35 to 60 percent under the name of Donghua Zoology Culturing Co., Ltd and Donghua Spirit Co., Ltd. between 2002 and 2005.

Wang attracted more than 10,000 investors before the case was investigated in June 2005, saying that the ants were to be used for making liquor, herbal remedies and as aphrodisiacs, the court said.

Wang misused 798 million yuan raised from investors, buying himself luxury goods and lending money to others, while continued to swindle investors who visited the company and told them the business was doing very well, the court said.

One investor committed suicide after realizing he had been duped and Wang's actions also caused huge economic losses for investors and many subsequently suffered depression, the court said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2008)

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