China sentences tycoon Xiao Jianhua to 13 years and fines his company $8.1 billion

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People walk past the building with the listed address of the Beijing office of Tomorrow Holdings, China February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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BEIJING, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A Shanghai court on Friday sentenced Chinese-Canadian billionaire Xiao Jianhua, who has not been seen in public since 2017, to 13 years in prison and a fine of 55.03 billion yuan (8.1 billion) against its conglomerate Tomorrow Holdings, a record in China.

Xiao and Tomorrow Holdings have been charged with illegally misappropriating public deposits, treasonable use of entrusted assets, and illegally using funds and paying bribes, the former said. Shanghai Intermediate Court.

He added that the sentence was mitigated because the two had admitted their crimes and cooperated to recover the illegal gains and repair the losses.

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Chinese-born Xiao, known to have ties to China’s Communist Party elite, was last seen in a wheelchair from a luxury Hong Kong hotel in the early hours of the morning with his head covered, told Reuters a source close to the tycoon at the time.

Xiao and Tomorrow ‘seriously violated a financial management order’ and ‘damaged the financial security of the state’, the court heard, with the tycoon additionally fined 6.5 million yuan for the crimes.

From 2001 to 2021, Xiao and Tomorrow donated stocks, real estate, cash and other assets to government officials totaling more than 680 million yuan, to evade financial monitoring and seek benefits. illegitimate, the court said.

In July 2020, nine of the group’s linked institutions were seized by Chinese regulators as part of a crackdown on risks posed by financial conglomerates. Read more

Among the nine companies were four insurers – Tianan Property Insurance Co of China, Huaxia Life Insurance Co, Tianan Life Insurance Co and Yi’an P&C Insurance Co – as well as New Times Trust Co and New China Trust Co. The other three were Chengtong. Securities, Guosheng Securities and Guosheng Futures.

The court said that as of 2004, Xiao and Tomorrow controlled several financial institutions and internet financial platforms, including the bankrupt Baoshang Bank, through multiple levels of indirect shareholders and anonymous ownership.

He said Xiao used the illegal gains for the acquisition of financial institutions, securities trading and overseas investments. But he acknowledged his attempts to make amends.

“Xiao Jianhua took commendable measures, so he received a mitigated sentence according to law,” he said.

Asked about Xiao’s right to consular access as a Canadian citizen during a regular briefing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that because Chinese law does not recognize dual nationality , Xiao was not entitled to such rights.

The Canadian Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tomorrow Holdings could not immediately be reached for comment.

($1 = 6.8056 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Tony Munroe, Ziyi Tang, Ryan Woo, Ellen Zhang, Eduardo Baptista and Meg Shen; Editing by Kim Coghill and Stephen Coates

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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