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January 13, 2010

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Prosecutors reviewing Gome founder probe

AN investigation into the elder of two brothers, who founded China's biggest consumer electronics retailer, has been referred to prosecutors to decide whether charges should be laid for insider trading, business scams, bigamy and falsifying entry and exit paperwork.

Huang Junqin was chairman of real estate and investment firm Beijing Towercrest Group and founded Gome Electrical Appliances with his younger brother Huang Guangyu.

Police originally investigated Huang Junqin in November 2008 in relation to his brother's alleged market manipulation and money laundering, but investigators later said there was no connection between the pair's respective breaches.

The case is now being reviewed by prosecutors in the 2nd branch of Beijing People's Procuratorate. Other suspects in Huang Guangyu's case, including Huang Guangyu's wife Du Juan, have also been referred to prosecutors.

Huang Guangyu is also being investigated on suspicion of committing other crimes, Beijing prosecutors said late last month.

Little has been heard formally of the investigation, but media reports say Huang Guangyu is being investigated for insider trading and stock manipulation.

Huang Guangyu was named the richest man on Chinese mainland in 2004, 2005 and 2008. Huang Junqin was listed as the 13th richest in 2005 and 20th a year later.

The duo were investigated by police in 2006 over lending irregularities at a Bank of China Beijing branch where they had borrowed hundreds of millions of yuan, but were cleared.


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