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December 3, 2009

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Woman, 41, tricked student into marriage

A 41-YEAR-OLD Chinese woman has been jailed for two years for a marriage scam in which she claimed to be the 26-year-old daughter of a former ambassador and swindled money from a 23-year-old student.

Xu Xiaoyun, who is from southwest China's Guizhou Province and has a 19-year-old son, was also fined 2,000 yuan (US$293), yesterday's Beijing News reported.

The sentence was handed down at the Haidian District People's Court in Beijing on Tuesday.

Xu met the man surnamed Fan, a postgraduate student at Beijing's Tsinghua University, at a party on February 9, and they began cohabitating the next day, the court heard.

Xu told Fan she was the daughter of Qin Huasun, a former Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, and a student at Tsinghua.

In the following days, Xu called Fan several times, pretending to be her parents and elder brother and urging Fan to marry Xu soon, the court heard. They held a wedding ceremony in Fan's hometown in central China's Henan Province on May 20.

Xu had repeatedly asked for a "cash gift" of 50,000 yuan before their marriage, which raised Fan's suspicions, the court heard.

After the ceremony, he discovered that there was no Qin Ran, the name Xu used to trick him, at the university.

He called police and Xu was detained on May 24.

Of the 50,000 yuan Xu had obtained, 20,000 was determined to be money she swindled as the other 30,000 had been spent on the wedding and other items for the couple.

Fan has since graduated from Tsinghua and left Beijing.


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