Former Top Financier Executed for Taking $277 Million in Bribes
What’s new: China on Friday morning executed Lai Xiaomin, a former chairman of one of the country’s four largest state-owned bad-debt managers, according to a news agency (link in Chinese) under the country’s top court.
Lai was sentenced to death for bribery earlier this month by a court in North China’s Tianjin municipality.
He was convicted of taking a record 1.79 billion yuan ($276.8 million) of bribes — including 104 million yuan of bribes that ultimately failed to take place — from 2008 to 2018 in exchange for his help in financing, promotions and more. He was also convicted of bigamy and colluding with others to embezzle 25.1 million yuan of public funds.
The punishments for the three crimes combined were the death sentence, deprivation of political rights for life and confiscation of all personal property.
The court said Lai’s crimes were “extremely severe” and caused significant damage to the interests of the Chinese nation and people, threatening the country’s financial security and stability.
The background: Lai’s case shocked the public due to its astonishing details, such as the metric tons of cash stashed at his home, the 300 million yuan bank account under his mother’s name, and his over 100 mistresses.
As the ex-Communist Party chief of bad-debt manager China Huarong Asset Management Co. Ltd., Lai was expelled from the party and removed from public office in October 2018. In April that year, it was announced that he had been placed under investigation for graft.
During his five-year-plus tenure as Huarong’s chairman, Lai oversaw an aggressive expansion that transformed the company from what he once called a “marginalized” company into one of the biggest players in China’s financial sector. By fueling risky business endeavors and ambiguous ties with private borrowers, the company grew into a financial conglomerate, handling securities, trust, banking and financial leasing businesses.
Guo Yingzhe contributed to this report.
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