BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Supreme People's Court (SPC) has ruled that the death sentence should not apply in the case of Wu Ying, a businesswoman convicted of cheating investors out of several hundred million yuan.
After reviewing the Wu case of fundraising fraud, the supreme court, China's top court, sent the case back to the Zhejiang Higher People's Court for resentencing, Xinhua was told Friday.
The SPC held that the facts of the case were clear, the evidence was sufficient, and the nature of the crime Wu committed had been determined accurately in the verdicts which were made by lower courts.
"Wu obtained an extremely large sum of money through fraudulent fundraising, causing severe losses to the victims, undermining the national financial order and creating extremely harmful effects, and thus entails a penalty in line with the law," the SPC ruled.
"During the early stage of her illegal fundraising, Wu, though fully aware of her not being able to pay off the huge debt, continued to illegally pool money through high-interest loans by cheating various creditors," said a statement from the SPC.
According to the SPC, a total of 10 million yuan (1.59 million U.S. dollars) was spent on clothes, cosmetics and banquet dinners. She also owned four BMW cars and a Ferrari sports car priced at 3.75 million yuan.
Wu is said to have deliberately flaunted her fortune in order to gain the confidence of investors for future fundraising. On one occasion, after 33 million yuan vanished from futures speculation, she lied to the investors by saying the deal paid off and paid them 16 million yuan, a sum borrowed from elsewhere, as a bonus. Wu then received another 50 million yuan from the investors.
According to the statement, Wu's debt totalled 380 million yuan upon her arrest.
In the course of raising these sums of money, Wu concealed the fact that her fortune had been collected from others, and that she was in debt. Meanwhile, she tried to create a fake image of herself as a "billionaire woman," through false propaganda, including establishing several companies within a short period of time, and entering into a number of property purchase contracts.
Wu targeted members of the public indiscriminately as she tried to continue raising money.
Among the 11 immediate victims of the fraud, nine were strangers to Wu prior to being introduced specially for fundraising.
A further 100 other victims were also involved, as they contributed funds for investment by the 11 immediate victims. These are facts that Wu was aware of from the outset.
However, after being taken into custody of law enforcers, Wu admitted the crimes she committed, and also admitted that she had bribed government employees, the SPC added.
After fully considering all the factors, the SPC ruled that immediate execution may be inappropriate in the Wu case, overriding the death sentence.
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