Grete Chan, 22 October 2012
18 individuals were recently sentenced in what is now known as Beijing’s biggest bank fraud case. Prosecutors said Beijing Huading Credit Guarantee Co. Ltd. chairman Hu Yi and his wife Li Jingjing secured 708 million yuan (US $112.8 million) in improper loans from Beijing Rural Commercial Bank (BRCB).
Hu and Li reportedly entered into a total of 300 illicit loan arrangements with three BRCB branches, forging loan documents using unsuspecting clients’ names as applicants and guarantors and also invented several shell companies. Employees were also coxed to the scheme with bribes.
BCRB Business Center branch manager Tian Jun got 20 years for taking bribes including 4.6 million yuan (US $733,148) in cash and two automobiles.
Hu was given a life sentence. Li was sentenced to 15 years. The bank managers and deputies involved in the scheme were given sentences between 6-17 years for corruption.
BCRB is the 20th largest bank in China by assets, with more than 700 branches in Beijing and outskirts.
China’s growing Graft Concern
A US based non-partisan ‘fact’ tank, Pew Research Center conducted a research survey on Chinese attitude on corruption. Data on categories such as economic inequality, food safety scandals, and political corruption, were collected and an astounding increase in graft concern was found. Richard Wike, director of the Pew Research Center said,
Back in 2008, when we asked about this, we already had a fairly large number of people telling us it was a major problem. Thirty-nine percent said corrupt officials were a very big problem back then. This year, though, that’s up significantly, it’s up to 50 percent saying that corrupt officials are a very big problem in the country.
The problem of corruption has been highlighted by a series of recent high-profile scandals involving Communist Party leaders, including Bo Xilai, the disgraced ex-Politburo member whose wife has been convicted of murder. Other less well-known scandals are a regular occurrence within party ranks.
Edit: Note I don’t own the rights to the photo, it is credit of Caijing.com.cn. Oddly, I see that the banners have alternated spelling of Beijing Rural Commercial Bank, with Beijing “Pural” Commercial Bank.