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April 12, 2012

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Couple on trial for 19m yuan hospital fraud

A middle-aged man and his young girlfriend stood trial yesterday in Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, accused of defrauding a local hospital out of more than 19 million yuan (US$3.01 million) by faking documents with forged seals.

Prosecutors said the 47-year-old suspect surnamed Dong and his 27-year-old girlfriend surnamed Gong conspired to get more than 50 million yuan from the bank accounts of two hospitals, and they transferred more than 19 million yuan into their own account in 2011.

Dong, who had been imprisoned for 10 years for financial fraud, spent more than two years planning his new crime with Gong after he was released, the court was told.

Dong admitted the charges in court but claimed that Gong was also cheated by him and didn't know about the crime at all. Gong also denied that she was Dong's accomplice, as she didn't know Dong was committing crimes.

Dong said he registered a medical equipment company in Suzhou in neighboring Jiangsu Province in 2011 and hired some employees. He also hired people to get themselves hospitalized to obtain the official seals of the hospitals so that he could forge them.

On April 15, 2011, Dong sent one of his employees to a bank in Jiangsu Province with faked TT (telegraphic transfer) certificates and forged seals to transfer over 10 million yuan from a Jiangsu hospital to his company's account. But he failed, as the bank rejected the transaction.

On April 18, Dong tried again. He faked three TT certificates with amounts of more than 390,000 yuan, 19 million yuan and 15 million yuan with the forged seal of a Shanghai hospital. Then he sent an employee to the bank to conduct the transfers. The bank staff was taken in by two of the certificates, and more than 19 million yuan were transferred from the hospital into Dong's company account.

Dong immediately transferred that money into a bank card, which he got with a faked identity, and asked Gong and his employee to cash out 1.21 million yuan the same day.

But the bank found a problem on the last certificate, terminated the transfer and called the police. Police discovered the tiny difference between the real seal and the forged one, and told the bank to freeze the involved accounts.

Finding his accounts frozen, Dong and Gong fled and separated in the city of Jiaxing in Zhejiang Province, but both were eventually captured in May 2011.

The intermediate court didn't announce a verdict yesterday.


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