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Woman embezzled to repay son's debts

A WOMAN who embezzled more than 2 million yuan (US$292,000) to pay her son's gambling debts was jailed for nine years yesterday.

The Putuo District People's Court said Yao Hengyu, 60, abused her position to embezzle 2.11 million yuan from September 2004 to January 2006.

Yao became an accountant for a private trading company after she retired in July 2002 and was trusted by the manager since she had been recommended by a friend.

Yao's son became addicted to gambling in 2004 and ran up huge debts. Some criminal gang members even went to his home to demand payment for loans he had taken out.

Yao didn't report this to the police, the court heard. Instead, she used all her savings, more than 200,000 yuan, to pay the debts.

But her son continued to gamble and got into even more debt.

"He had no money to pay the debts and the creditors threatened to kill him. I would do anything to save him," she told the court after pleading guilty.

She decided to take the company's money since she was handling almost all its financial affairs.

From September 2004 to January 2006, Yao embezzled money on about 50 occasions under the pretexts of paying tax, reimbursing expenses and carrying out the instructions of her boss, the court heard.

The manager didn't suspect anything was wrong until, in January 2006, he learned Yao had just drawn 50,000 yuan to pay a Customs tax that he knew nothing about.

Yao repaid 500,000 yuan but wasn't able to pay back the rest.

"What I have done didn't save my son, it spoiled him. I failed to direct him in the right way," Yao told the court.


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