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July 27, 2010

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Woman on trial over bank-loan fraud

A WOMAN who, along with her boyfriend, allegedly defrauded 5.61 million yuan (US$827,434) in real estate loans from a local bank went on trial yesterday.

Prosecutors of the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate Prosecutors' Office charged Yu Qianjun, a 33-year-old local woman, with loan fraud and suggested a sentence of between 10 years to life imprisonment.

Yu's accomplice, Xu Yang, is at large.

Prosecutors alleged that the duo conspired to cheat the bank of loans, using fake real estate trade contracts and falsified property right certificates.

Before Yu was detained, she had paid 2.93 million yuan back to the bank. The bank's actual loss from the fraud was 2.68 million yuan, the court heard.

Yu pleaded guilty in the hearing at the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court but argued that she'd planned to return the amount though she did cheat to get the loans.

Yu and her boyfriend ran a company which helped real estate buyers apply for bank loans. Because she owed some 5 million yuan to an underground bank, she and Xu decided to cheat a bank with loans.

Between January and April 2005, Yu told six of her friends and colleagues that she wanted to buy some real estate as an investment but didn't have enough loan. She asked the six to apply for loans as property buyers and promised to pay back the loans, prosecutors said.

Yu then provided six fake real estate contracts and property rights certificates falsified by Xu to a local branch of the China Everbright Bank and asked the six to sign on the loan contracts. She managed to get 5.61 million yuan from the bank in this way, the court heard.

The bank discovered the property rights certificates were forged in July 2006 but because Yu promised to pay back the loans it kept quiet.

At first Yu paid the loans regularly with the company's profits and her savings but was hospitalized in late 2008 and when she left the hospital, she found the company was shut and Xu had disappeared. She was caught in November 2009.

The court didn't announce its verdict after the hearing.


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