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Mistress bankrupts shop owner who is now jailed for frauds

A car maintenance workshop boss has been sentenced by a Shanghai court to 13 years in jail for defrauding more than 800,000 yuan (US$121,396) by various means in order to satisfy his greedy mistress.

When the man surnamed Li stood in the court, he blamed his crime on his mistress who had disappeared, and asked to sell an apartment he bought for her to compensate the victims.

Li, in his 50s, came to Shanghai a few years ago to run a car repair shop and left his wife at home in Jiangsu Province to take care of their children. Li felt lonely in the city and began to live with a pretty woman in her 20s.

While revitalizing Li's life, the young woman kept asking for expensive clothes, cosmetics and even for an apartment and a car.

The demand was far beyond Li's means though he had a good income. To keep the mistress, Li began to swindle money out of his customers. In December 2007, he offered to buy a car plate for a customer surnamed Zhang claiming he had good connections and accepted 10,000 yuan as down payment. A few days later Li gave Zhang a plate 10,000 yuan less than its actual cost to cheat for Zhang's trust.

Zhang promoted Li's "ability" to his friends and more people came for "cheap" plates and made down payments. But few got their plates.

By the time when Li was caught last April, he had swindled more than 300,000 yuan in down payments.

The money was still not enough to buy an apartment and an expensive car. Li then used four cars of his customers as mortgage to borrow money and obtained more than 400,000 yuan this way.

With the swindled money, he managed to buy an apartment and a car for his mistress.

Meanwhile, Li applied for a dozen of credit cards from five banks to buy expensive items for the woman and owed more than 30,000 yuan to the banks when he was arrested last April in his home town after creditors reported to police.


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