Chinese President Xiao Jianhua Sentenced to 13 Years, His Company Fined $8.1 Billion

People walk past a building with the listed address of Tomorrow Holdings’ Beijing office, 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 fined his company Tomorrow Holdings 55.03 billion yuan ($8.1 billion). China.

Xiao and Tomorrow Holdings were charged with illegally extorting public deposits, betraying the use of entrusted assets, illegally using funds and accepting bribes, the Shanghai First Intermediate Court said.

The sentence was reduced after both pleaded guilty and cooperated in recovering illegal gains and restitution of losses.

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Chinese-born Xiao, who is known to have ties to China’s Communist Party elite, was last seen being swept from a luxury Hong Kong hotel with his head covered in a wheelchair, a source close to the president told Reuters.

The court said Xiao and Tomorrow had “seriously violated the Financial Management Ordinance” and “affected the state financial security”, and fined the president 6.5 million yuan for the offences.

The court said that from 2001 to 2021, Xiao and Tomorrow provided shares, real estate, cash and other assets to government officials worth more than 680 million yuan to evade financial monitoring and obtain illicit benefits.

In July 2020, nine companies associated with the group were seized by Chinese regulators as part of a crackdown on risks posed by financial institutions. read more

Four of the nine companies are insurers — China’s Tianan Property Insurance Co, Huaxia Life Insurance Co, Tianan Life Insurance Co and Yiyan B&C Insurance Co — as well as New Times Trust Co and New China Trust Co. The other three are Chengdong. Bonds, Guosheng Bonds and Guosheng Futures.

Since 2004, Xiao and Tomorrow controlled several financial institutions and Internet financial platforms, including the failed Baoshang Bank, through multiple layers of indirect shareholders and anonymous ownership, the court said.

Xiao used the ill-gotten gains for acquisitions of financial institutions, securities trading and foreign investment. But it acknowledged his efforts to make amends.

“Xiao Jianhua has taken commendable steps, so he was given a reduced sentence in accordance with the law,” it said.

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

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 Munro, Jii Tang, Ryan Wu, Ellen Zhang, Eduardo Baptista and Meg Shen; Editing by Kim Coghill and Stephen Coates

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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