Ex-banker sentenced to death in China for a $ 260 million bribe, Bigamy

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Lai Xiaomin, then chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., speaks during a conference.

Beijing, China:

The former chairman of one of China’s largest state-controlled wealth management firms was sentenced to death Tuesday for seeking $ 260 million in bribes, corruption and bigamy.

Lai Xiaomin, a former Communist Party member, made a detailed confession through the state television broadcaster CCTV in January 2020. The picture of a Beijing apartment allegedly owned by Lai is filled with safes and cupboards full of cash.

The Tianjin court said Lai abused his position to obtain the enormous sum, described the bribes as “extremely large” and called the circumstances “particularly serious.”

The court ruling added that he had shown “extreme malicious intent”.

Lai, a former chairman of Hong Kong-listed China Huarong Asset Management Co, was also found guilty of bigamy after living out of wedlock for “long periods of man and woman” and having children out of wedlock.

Lai, whose investigation began in April 2018, also embezzled over 25 million yuan ($ 3.8 million) in public funds between 2009 and 2018.

During his televised confession, Lai told CCTV that he “didn’t spend a penny and just kept it there … I didn’t dare spend it.”

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CCTV also showed luxury cars and gold bars that Lai accepted as bribes.

The Tianjin court said Lai would have all personal property confiscated and deprived of his political rights.

Critics said the widespread anti-corruption campaign launched under President Xi Jinping also helped target his opponents and those of the Communist Party leadership.

CCTV frequently broadcasts interviews with suspects who have confessed to crimes before appearing in court – a practice long condemned by lawyers and legal organizations as compulsory confession.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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