China sentenced tycoon Xiao Jianhua to 13 years in prison and fined his company $8.1 billion.

China sentenced tycoon Xiao Jianhua to 13 years in prison and fined his company $8.1 billion.
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People walk past a building with the listed address of Tomorrow Holdings’ Beijing office, China, 3 February 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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BEIJING, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A Shanghai court on Friday sentenced Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese-Canadian billionaire who has not been seen in public since 2017, to 13 years in prison and fined his conglomerate Tomorrow Holdings 55.03 billion yuan ($8.1 billion). . demon

The Shanghai First Intermediate Court said Xiao and Tomorrow Holdings were charged with misappropriation of state funds, betrayal of trust, misappropriation of funds and bribery.

He added that the sentence was reduced because both pleaded guilty and cooperated in the restitution of ill-gotten gains and restitution of losses.

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Born in China and known to have ties to the Chinese Communist Party elite, Xiao was last seen in the early hours of the morning being wheeled out of a luxury Hong Kong hotel with his head covered in a wheelchair.

The court said Xiao and Sabah had “seriously violated the rule of financial management” and “damaged the financial security of the state”, and the tycoon was fined an additional 6.5 million yuan for the crimes.

The court said that from 2001 to 2021, Xiao and Tomorrow gave shares, real estate, cash and other assets with a total value of more than 680 million yuan to government officials to evade financial supervision and obtain illegal benefits.

In July 2020, Chinese regulators seized nine of the group’s related entities as part of a crackdown on risks posed by financial conglomerates. read more

The nine firms include four insurers – China’s Tianan Property Insurance Co, Huaxia Life Insurance Co, Tianan Life Insurance Co and Yi’an P&C Insurance Co, as well as New Times Trust Co and New China Trust Co. The other three were Chengtong Securities, Guosheng Securities and Guosheng Futures.

Since 2004, Xiao and Tomorrow controlled numerous financial institutions and internet financial platforms, including the failed Baoshang Bank, through numerous indirect shareholders and anonymous ownership, the court said.

It was reported that Xiao used the ill-gotten gains to buy financial institutions, trade securities and invest abroad. But it acknowledged his attempts to make amends.

“Xiao Jianhua has performed commendable actions, so he was given a reduced sentence in accordance with the law,” the statement said.

At a briefing on Friday, when asked about Xiao’s right to enter the consulate as a Canadian citizen, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Xiao does not have the same rights as Chinese law does not recognize dual citizenship.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was aware of media reports about the court ruling and that its officials would monitor the case and press for access to the consulate.

“The lack of transparency in Mr. Xiao’s legal process, as well as the continued lack of consular access that prevents us from being able to assess his well-being, is deeply troubling,” the statement said.

Sabah Holdings could not immediately be reached for comment.

($1=6.8056 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)

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Reporting by Tony Munroe, Ziyi Tang, Ryan Woo, Ellen Zhang, Eduardo Baptista and Meg Shen; Edited by Stephen Coates and Clarence Fernandez

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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