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February 25, 2011

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Couple imprisoned for public swindle

A STATE-OWNED company's former general manager was given a life sentence yesterday for embezzling more than 12 million yuan (US$1.82 million) in public assets.

His wife was sentenced to six years in prison for helping him to embezzle the money. The sentences were passed by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

Zhou Guoxiang, 55, was general manager of Shanghai Coatings Co Ltd, a subsidiary of state-owned Shanghai Huayi Group Co.

Coatings set up Shanghai Yonghua Paint Co Ltd in August 2000, with registered capital of 3 million yuan and Zhou became board chairman in October 2000.

Zhou borrowed 2 million yuan from the Shanghai Chemical Industry Association in the name of Yonghua in November 2001. He lied to the company that the 2 million yuan was the association's investment and transferred the shares to the association in name only, actually he kept control of the shares.

Starting in 2002, Zhou used various underhand methods to eventually transfer all of Coatings' shares in Yonghua to the association - again, he kept all the shares.

Zhou and his wife, Lin Ying, then formed Shanghai Muqi Chemical Materials Co Ltd in August 2003.

They bought products in the name of Muqi from former suppliers of Yonghua and sold them to Yonghua at a higher price. They stole 350,000 yuan from the company in this way from September 2003 to November 2003.

From November 2003 to June 2006, the couple embezzled 3.36 million yuan from the service department of Shanghai Coatings in the same was as they defrauded Yonghua, the court heard.


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