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January 22, 2010

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SOE boss gets life for embezzlement

QIN Jinlong, the former general manager of the state-owned Shanghai County Real Estate General Company, was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for grafting 35.8 million yuan (US$5.24 million) in public assets by concealing ownership of two plots of land while the company was privatized.

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court also ruled the confiscation of 20 million yuan of Qin's personal property.

Ding Beili, the company's former financial manager, was sentenced to seven years' prison and Zhang Yong, former chief supervisor of the company, was given a suspended sentence of three years at the same time.

The court believed Ding and Zhang grafted 18.2 million yuan together. Zhang got a suspended sentence because he surrendered himself and confessed everything immediately, judges said.

The plots should have been handed over to the government as state-owned assets before the Shanghai County Real Estate General Company became a private company, Shanghai Zhongxiang (Group) Co Ltd, the court heard.

However, the two plots became properties of the private company. Since each of the defendants held shares in Zhongxiang, they were found guilty of embezzling assets.

All the assets have been returned to the state.

Qin, 62, was appointed general manager of the state-owned company in 1992 and became president of Zhongxiang after it was formed in 2001.

In December 1992, the state-owned company got approval to acquire 169-hectare plot in the Pudong New Area for residential construction, but the plot remained undeveloped until 2001.

Qin showed the expired land-use license to the firm auditing the real estate company's assets before its privatization, but the firm didn't include the plot as a state-owned asset as the license had expired, the court heard.

In fact, Qin had obtained government approval to extend the license. Qin transferred the right to use the land for 634 million yuan in April 2001, making an illegal profit of 54.39 million yuan.

Also during the company's privatization, Qin, together with Ding and Zhang, hid the land-use license of a plot in Minhang District that had been transferred. They embezzled 48.44 million yuan through it, the court heard.

The court decided Qin was the principal criminal in the case and Ding and Zhang were accessories.


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