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Media tycoon kills himself after Ponzi allegations

A MEDIA tycoon involved in an alleged Ponzi scheme worth 250 million yuan (US$36.58 million) shot himself at a tourist site hundreds of kilometers from his home.

Zhang Shiqiang's body was found by tourists at Lao Mountain in Qingdao City, Shandong Province. The right lower jaw had been broken by the passage of a bullet which emerged on the left side of his head, police said.

Zhang's face was unrecognizable and he was initially identified by car keys, clothing and a backbone deformity. A DNA test later confirmed his identity, according to Hangzhou-based Metro Express.

Qingdao police said Zhang committed suicide and had killed himself with three bullets.

Zhang, 51, served as the board chairman of Beijing-based China Television New Media Cultural Development Co and the legal representative of Henghong Industrial Co in Shanghai.

He went missing in December and it was rumored he had been involved in a 1.6 billion yuan fund-raising scheme.

Zhejiang Over-Boundary (Group) Co Ltd told police it had been conned into investing 250 million yuan in the scheme.

Zhang was wanted by police at his hometown in Pujiang County, Zhejiang Province. The Pujiang government froze Zhang's bank account and discovered it was linked to illicit money worth 300 million yuan.

The Pujiang police were told of Zhang's death last Friday, said Zheng Liexian, a senior officer in charge of criminal investigations in Pujiang.

The suicide is under the jurisdiction of Qingdao police, Zheng said.

But the Pujiang police will not stop investigating the Ponzi scheme and other people involved, he added.

Zhang had been an investor in several domestic television drama series including "Age Of Innocence" and "Help."


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