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Life in prison for bank swindler

A BUSINESSMAN has been sentenced to life in prison for swindling two banks in northeastern China of 800 million yuan (US$117 million) and causing a total loss of nearly 400 million yuan.

Huludao Intermediate People's Court in Liaoning Province found Zhuang Dachuan guilty of fraud and issued the ruling together with a fine of 800 million yuan, China News Service reported yesterday.

Zhuang's accomplice, Huang Leqin, a senior clerk at China Galaxy Securities, was jailed for 15 years and fined 10 million yuan. The asset management arm of the securities company was ordered to pay a total of more than 390 million yuan together with Zhuang and Huang.

Zhuang hoaxed Huludao City Commercial Bank to purchase treasury bills from July 2002 to May 2004 from an outlet of Galaxy in Xiamen, Fujian Province. Zhuang transferred all the money to his account together with Huang and Li Wenqiang. Li is still at large.

Seven credit unions of the bank had transferred more than 600 million yuan to the outlet. The bank found its money gone in October 2006 and called police.

Zhuang and Huang also swindled a credit union in Liaoning's Tieling City of about 200 million yuan.

Zhuang invested the money in stocks and futures or paid debts with it. He even transferred about 100 million yuan overseas via illegal private banks.

Zhuang has appealed the sentence to Liaoning Higher People's Court.


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