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April 18, 2012

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Woman jailed for ignoring court order to pay debt

A young woman who owned a Porsche and a BMW but ignored a court order to pay back debts of more than 1.12 million yuan (US$178,000) was sentenced to 15 months in prison yesterday.

Wang Shunjun, a 25-year-old Shanghai resident, was tried in Hongkou District People's Court yesterday for not complying with the court's January 2009 order to repay more than 1.12 million yuan. Prosecutors said Wang mortgaged her high-end apartment on Beijing Road W. to borrow 1.12 million yuan from a man, surnamed Luo, in August 2008. She refused to pay the debts even after Luo brought the case to the court and a judgment was made.

An investigation by the court found Wang owned expensive cars and an apartment together valued at more than 5 million yuan, more than enough for Wang to pay her debts.

Instead, Wang hid the two luxury cars, transferred her parents' hukou (permanent resident permit) into her apartment and asked her grandmother to move into her home to prevent the court from carrying out a judicial auction, prosecutors said.

On January 30, Wang was detained by police while having dinner with her parents in a restaurant on Pingliang Road. Police seized a bag and confiscated more than 300,000 yuan and US$40,000 cash inside, the court heard.

Wang admitted in court that she ignored the court order but denied she was hiding herself. The woman argued she didn't know about the money police confiscated, claiming the huge sum of cash actually belonged to her parents.

The court ordered Wang to clear her debts while serving her sentence in jail.

Since last October, five people have received prison sentences for refusing to pay debts and 464 debtors were given judicial detention, said Yu Zhiqiang, an official from the Shanghai Higher People's Court.

The court also exposed the names of 12,006 debtors online and 1,088 of them were restricted from lavish spending and high-level consumption such as taking trips on planes.


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