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September 20, 2010

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Man goes to prison for fraud in Expo swindle

A MAN was jailed 13 years yesterday for pretending to be a World Expo official and swindling more than 2.2 million yuan (US$327,381) from a travel agency.

Cai Leixin, 38, contacted the general manager, surnamed Ma, of Xiamen Chunhui International Travel Agency last October. Cai claimed to be deputy division chief of the publicity department of Minhang District's Expo instruction center.

He told Ma his father was the former director of Minhang's government and now deputy chairman of the Shanghai People's Congress. He told Ma he had access to cheap Expo tickets and could sell each for 83 yuan.

Ma, who was organizing Expo tour groups, believed Cai and was delighted to get discounted tickets.

Cai and Ma signed an agreement for 900 fake Expo reservation coupons, the court said.

Ma deposited 4.78 million yuan into Cai's bank account.

Cai purchased 2.5 million yuan worth of Expo tickets, but spent the rest on cars, gifts for his mistress and other items.

Ma realized he had been duped in May when a client complained the reservation coupons were fake. Cai was caught soon afterwards.

Because he was in the probation period for a previous fraud conviction, Minhang District People's Court decided to tack two years onto the 13-year sentence, putting Cai behind bars for 15 years.


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