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June 10, 2010

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Man swindles to save ill dad

A JUDGE sentenced a credit-card swindler to 18 months in jail yesterday.

But because the convicted man had used all the 40,000 yuan (US$5,857) in ill-gotten gains to save his desperately ill father, the judge then donated 1,000 yuan to his family.

Furthermore, the court urged the authorities to further improve the medical insurance system and the whole society to care more about employing people with criminal records.

"I had no other choice and I don't regret it," Lu Min, 25, said in the court hearing. "To save my father's life, I would rather get jailed again."

Two years ago, Lu worked in an auto company with a monthly salary of 1,380 yuan and applied for four credit cards from a local bank.

Lu, who had done time for larceny, was soon fired after three-month probation period because of his criminal record.

Meantime, his father was in critical condition with liver disease and diabetes. Lu had been living with his father alone since he was six and his parents divorced.

To save his father's life, he overdrew the credit cards to pay the medical costs though he knew he couldn't pay the money back. He swindled more than 40,000 yuan in total when he surrendered himself to police in October 2009.

His father told the court that he had been laid off for years due to the diseases. The poverty forced Lu to drop out of school at early age. Lu made some bad friends and joined in the theft of a moped in 2006.

"He didn't tell me he was fired" the father said. "Instead, he comforted me that he would earn enough money to cover the medical costs. It was all my fault."

Shi Yuhuan, the judge of Xuhui District People's Court who took in charge of the case, ruled an 18-month sentence considering Lu's crime. After announcing the verdict, she donated 1,000 yuan to the family.


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