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2 given life for social security fraud
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Six officials and business leaders that were involved in Shanghai's social security fund scandal received sentences ranging from three years to life.

The former chairman of the State-owned New Huangpu Group, Wu Minglie, and a former deputy chairman of the Shanghai Electric Group, Han Guozhang, received life sentences by the Changchun Intermediate People's Court in Jilin Province on Sunday.

The former director of the Shanghai municipal labor and social security bureau, Zhu Junyi, received 18 years, a deputy chairman with China Huawen Investment, Wang Zheng, three years; a divisional head with the labor and social security bureau, Lu Qiwei, eight years; and Li Songjian, three years.

They were all convicted of taking or giving bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power.

They were part of a group that illegally siphoned money from the Shanghai's social security fund to invest in highway construction and real estate development.

According to Caijing Magazine, the amount, more than 7 billion yuan, was loaned to several major companies.

The scandal broke in September last year, resulting in the sacking and arrests of business leaders and senior officials.

On of those sacked was the Party chief Chen Liangyu. He also faces charges.

Shanghai has since tightened its supervision of the social security fund.

About 24 suspects are still being investigated or being prosecuted by the judicial departments in Jilin, Anhui and Shanghai.

Zhu's defense attorney, Zhai Jian, said his client would not lodge an appeal against the sentence.

(China Daily September 25, 2007)

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