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April 10, 2012

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Swindler who sold rental cars sentenced

A man who sold rented cars and swindled 14 people out of more than 1.4 million yuan (US$221,911) was sentenced to 14 years in prison for fraud and violating his probation, the Xuhui District People's Court said yesterday.

Prosecutors said the scammer, surnamed Lei, 29, rented a total of 16 cars from a car-rental company on Caobao Road between April 8 and September 7 last year and sold them as used cars at very low prices.

Last May 25, Lei sold a Volkswagen Passat to a victim, surnamed Xu, for 80,000 yuan. Before the due date to return the rented car, Lei asked Xu to give back the Passat in the name of transferring ownership. He also lent Xu another car as a loaner to allay any suspicion, the court heard.

Lured by the low prices offered by Lei, four of Xu's friends poured more than 200,000 yuan into the scheme while believing that they were buying cheap second-hand cars. Lei gained a strong reputation of selling cheap used cars.

Lei, a native of the city's Chongming County, was caught by police in the city of Xinyang in central China's Henan Province. Because he was on probation, the convict was given a stiff sentence and fined 100,000 yuan.


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