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November 5, 2009

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Former cop jailed over ID-theft college scheme

A COURT in central China's Hunan Province has sentenced a former police officer to two years in prison for abusing his position and stealing the identity of his daughter's classmate to help his daughter get into a university.

The ID fraud, which aroused nationwide attention after media exposure, almost killed the career dreams of victim Luo Caixia when she learned in March that the identify theft would scuttle her plans to receive her degree and teaching license.

The Beita District People's Court in Shaoyang City said Wang Zhengrong will have to spend four years in prison because he was already on probation for a 2007 conviction for bribery.

Wang forged a set of official documents and identity papers for his daughter, Wang Jiajun, who failed to score high enough on the 2004 national college entrance examination to gain admission to a university, the court said.

Wang Jiajun then posed as her classmate Luo, applied to Guizhou Normal University in Guizhou Province with Luo's ID card number, intercepted the admission letter and enrolled under Luo's name.

Luo was unaware of the scheme and entered Tianjin Normal University in north China's Tianjin in 2005 after taking the annual exam again.

She did not find out about the ID theft until March 2009 when she applied for a bank account. She was told she couldn't get her diploma and teaching license because her ID number was already registered.

She reported the theft to police and the media. The Ministry of Education vowed severe penalties, a Xinhua news agency report said earlier.

Wang Jiajun was dismissed by her employer after the scandal broke, and her diploma and teaching license were revoked.

Zhang Wendi, class adviser to Wang Jiajun and Luo at their former high school, and Yao Liangsheng, a police chief, were demoted for helping with the scheme.


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