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Appliance king loses his appeal

THE Guangdong Province Higher People's Court yesterday rejected an appeal by former home appliance tycoon Gu Chujun and upheld a 12-year sentence and 6.08-million-yuan (US$994,900) fine for embezzling 313 million yuan, failing to disclose required information and filing a false financial report.

Lower-court sentences for Gu's accomplices were also upheld.

Gu has been in a detention house for two years, so he will spend the next 10 years in prison, officials said.

Gu, who was the former chairman of the Guangdong Kelon Electrical Holding Co, along with five defendants, all high-ranking executives at Kelon or its former parent, Greencool Enterprise Development Co, appealed to the higher court after being sentenced by the Foshan Intermediate People's Court on January 30, 2008.

Seven other defendants received jail terms ranging from one year to four years for their involvement in the financial crimes.

Only one defendant, Zeng Junhong, a director of Kelon's purchasing center, was acquitted.

The Foshan court found that Gu sent forged files to the Shunde Administration for Industry and Commerce and stated falsely that Greencool's registered capital was 660 million yuan in order to acquire Kelon, the country's biggest refrigerator maker, in 2001.

He also disclosed false financial information to the public to prevent Shenzhen-listed Kelon from being delisted, which caused huge losses to shareholders, according to authorities.

Gu and two senior officials embezzled 313 million yuan from Kelon and Yaxing Motor Coach Co and injected the capital into Gu's personal company, the court said.

He was detained in 2005 with several other officials after the China Securities Regulatory Commission started an investigation into his misconduct.

Gu, once a celebrity entrepreneur who reportedly propelled Kelon to the top of China's competitive white-goods sector, started off as a researcher in Tianjin University in the 1980s.


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