Chinese-Canadian billionaire sentenced to 13 years in prison

Chinese-Canadian billionaire

Bejing: 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 fined his Tomorrow Holdings conglomerate 55.03 billion yuan ($8.1 billion), a record in China.

According to the Shanghai First Intermediate Court, Xiao and Tomorrow Holdings were accused of stealing public deposits, misusing entrusted property, using unlawfully obtained money, and engaging in bribery.

As a result of both parties’ admission of guilt and cooperation in recouping illicit gains and making up for losses, it was noted that the punishment was lessened.

According to the court, the Chinese-Canadian billionaire and Tomorrow “seriously violated a financial management regulation” and “damaged state financial security.” The billionaire has also penalised 6.5 million yuan for the offences.

The court found that Xiao and Tomorrow offered government officials a total of more than 680 million yuan in shares, real estate, cash, and other assets between 2001 and 2021 to escape financial oversight and pursue improper benefits.

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Nine of the group’s affiliated institutions were taken over by Chinese regulators in July 2020 as part of a campaign against the risks presented by financial conglomerates.

When asked about Xiao’s right to consular access as a Canadian citizen during a regular briefing on Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that because Chinese law does not recognise dual nationality, Xiao was not entitled to such rights. – Agencies

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