Private businessmen crimes rise

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-5 23:28:01

Private entrepreneurs were found guilty of, or had allegedly committed three-quarters of 357 publicly reported entrepreneurial crimes in the country over the past year, the results of an annual Chinese entrepreneur crime report showed over the weekend.

The report was the fifth of its kind since Faren magazine, a Beijing-based law publication, started ­releasing a yearly report on entrepreneur crimes in 2009.

Private entrepreneurs committing crime have increasingly been put under the spotlight over the past five years, according to findings from the annual report, which revealed that 270 out of 357 entrepreneurial crimes in 2013, based on the magazine's compilation of coverage on China's major news portals, were committed or allegedly committed by private entrepreneurs.

This is an increase from 2009, when private entrepreneurs committed 49 out of 84 entrepreneurial crime.

Financing and financial management were found to be the two major areas in which private entrepreneurs committed crimes last year, with the accusations centering on illegally absorbing public savings, fraudulent fundraising and tax crimes.

Executives of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) were mostly involved in criminal acts such as taking bribes, graft and embezzlement, the report disclosed.

Meanwhile, the report noted 2013 witnessed big strides in the country's push for all-round reform, as a slew of anti-graft probes were launched on senior government officials and top-level SOE executives in various sectors, especially the energy and resources sectors.

These probes uncovered and led to crackdowns on a number of crimes involving high-level SOE executives or private entrepreneurs.

In the latest anti-graft push, Meng Zhongze, chairman of State-owned Zhengzhou Coal Industry Group Co, stepped down after being ­investigated for corruption, the company said in a statement on December 23.

But despite the rise in the number of entrepreneurial crimes, the report noted the severity of punishment for entrepreneurs seems to be mitigating.

A total of 200 cases ended up with penalties and sentences last year, with the number of entrepreneurs and executives sentenced to at least 10 years in prison accounting for less than 40 percent.

The report went on to forecast that over the next five years, a rising number of entrepreneurial crimes will be uncovered amid the central government's continued efforts in investigating corruption.

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