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February 27, 2013

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Insurance saleswoman steals 14m yuan

AN insurance saleswoman was tried yesterday for fabricating a high-profit insurance product and luring more than 20 clients to transfer over 13.88 million yuan (US$2.2 million) to her account, the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court said.

The saleswoman, identified as Zhu Ying, became an employee of the Shanghai branch of Ping An Insurance Group.

Zhu hit a career bottleneck in 2007 and started to cheat clients to win more policies, prosecutors said.

Zhu told the clients the insurance company had a new surrender policy and they could get bonuses three years in advance of the duration set in the contract. Surrendering a policy is turning it in for its cash value.

"I lied to gain credits. The company has no such policies. I had to pay the losses myself for early surrender and the gap grew bigger and bigger," Zhu said at the hearing.

The fake policy that brought clients considerable profits made them trust Zhu and give her more money. Zhu soon was the top salesperson and she given awards and honors.

Starting in 2009, Zhu's clients surrendered 182 insurance policies. "It is obvious that Zhu's commission couldn't have filled out the gap," prosecutors said.

To make up the gap, Zhu made up a short-term financing product with high interest rates in July 2011 and talked it up with her clients. She swindled 13.88 million yuan and paid 3.75 million yuan in profit returns. She used the rest of money to pay surrender losses, interest and also her personal expenses.

Zhu said she turned herself in on May 11, 2012. She cried at the hearing and apologized to the victims, including a cancer patient, elderly people and also young couples who gave Zhu almost all of their savings.

Zhu's lawyer blamed her fall on the company, which sought for maximize profits and lacked adequate supervision of employees.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of more than 10 years.

A verdict was not rendered by the court yesterday.


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