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March 3, 2010

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Ex-emcee denies 100,000 yuan embezzle charge

A former well-known emcee in Shanghai denied a charge of embezzlement at a court hearing yesterday, arguing that the case was merely a business dispute.

Prosecutors alleged that Wang Zi, who used to emcee several local entertainment shows and was admired by women in the audience for his looks, embezzled more than 100,000 yuan (US$14,640) worth of computer equipment of a company he formed with two other partners.

Prosecutors suggested a minimum sentence of five years to the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

The court made no verdict after two hearings.

In October 2005, Wang, together with Liu Yi and Ding Ting, registered Shanghai Sen'ao Culture Broadcast Co Ltd with capital of 500,000 yuan to do business in Internet advertising. Ding's investment of 350,000 yuan included 200,000 yuan that should have been paid by Wang, but Wang didn't invest a penny, prosecutors said.

The business ran well until April 2007, when Liu left the company amid disputes with Wang. Liu held on to his shares, however.

With the company near bankruptcy half a year later, Wang decided to shut the company without informing the other two partners. He sold a group of the company's computers and servers to himself at more than 170,000 yuan, prosecutors said.

"The computer equipment stored Sen'ao's business data that was of great value to companies in this business. The data was the real target of Wang," prosecutors said. "His selfish motive made his two partners lose all their investments after the company was shut down."

Prosecutors said an official evaluation showed the equipment valued at 290,000 yuan.

Wang and his lawyer argued that he had asked the two partners their opinions about closing the company and they didn't object. Because there was no money for employees' final pay checks, Wang had to buy the equipment himself to pay salaries and rent, the court heard.

"There may be some defects in procedure, but I didn't intend to embezzle anything. It was just a common civil dispute," Wang said at the hearing.


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