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November 13, 2010

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Corrupt boss given 20-year sentence

LAN Xiande, the former president of Shanghai Jiao-da Onlly Co, a well-known health care company in the city, has been jailed for 20 years, the maximum fixed-term sentence, yesterday for being involved in corporate -corruption where embezzlement and bribes amounted to nearly 100 million yuan (US$15.11 million).

Onlly's former Vice President Ye Wenliang was given a sentence of 12 years in prison and another vice president, Fan Xiaobing, was sentenced to six years in prison for various crimes related to corruption.

The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court said Lan together with his two accomplices, could not be charged as state workers as prosecutors had asked for. This is because Onlly has changed into a private enterprise rather than a state-owned entity.

Penalties for state personnel are much more severe than those of non-state personnel in terms of corruption crimes, according to China's criminal law.

But the court rejected the not guilty plea submitted by all the three in previous court hearings. Lan's lawyer, Tao Wuping, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that Lan would lodge an appeal.

The verdict, announced nearly one and a half years after the first hearing, said Lan, 53, a pioneer of the local health food industry, embezzled 47.53 million yuan from Onlly - through a property deal and the illegal covering up of company assets.

Lan and Ye were also believed to have misappropriated 35 million yuan from Onlly in another scam. Zhongshan Neighborhood Committee wanted to sell shares in a company in 2004. Lan and Ye decided to buy the shares in the name of Shanghai Lanxin Investment company, a -private company belonging to them and other individual investors.

Since Lanxin couldn't afford to pay the full amount, Lan approved a 35 million yuan loan from Onlly to Lanxin, the verdict said.

Also, Lan and Fan accepted 15.71 million yuan in bribes from Zhu Min, general manager of Shanghai Jiejie Real Estate, the court ruled.

Zhu suggested a plan to develop land with Onlly in Baoshan District in 2003 and promised to transfer part of Jiejie's shares to Lan and Fan free of charge as a reward. The two illegally accepted a 15.71 million yuan dividend distributed by Jiejie.


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