Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua handed 13-year imprisonment, his company fined $8.08b for series of financial crimes
Published: Aug 19, 2022 09:01 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court on Friday sentenced Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua to 13 years in prison for a series of crimes including illegally absorbing public deposits, illegally using funds and bribery and fined Tomorrow Holdings controlled by Xiao 55.03 billion yuan ($8.08 billion).  

The hearings on cases related to Tomorrow Holdings and defendant Xiao, the founder of the company, were held on July 4, and the court delivered the verdict on Friday, in which it decided to sentence Xiao a jail term of 13 years for illegally collecting public deposits, using entrusted assets in breach of trust, illegal use of funds and bribery, according to a statement by the court on Friday. 

Xiao was also personally fined 6.5 million yuan while Tomorrow Holdings was fined 55.03 billion yuan. Tomorrow Holdings was established in 1999, and Xiao was the actual controller of the entity.

The court found that since 2004, Tomorrow Holdings and Xiao had violated national financial management laws and regulations, and had controlled a number of financial institutions and internet financial platforms by means of decentralized equity, multi-level holdings, and anonymous holdings.

From January 2010 to January 2017, Tomorrow Holdings and Xiao used a number of companies they controlled as financing and guarantee entities, and manipulated the companies to sell various trust and wealth management products illegally to the public. The total amount of funds absorbed amounted to over 311.6 billion yuan, according to the court's statement.  

Xiao and Tomorrow Holdings were also found guilty of a series of other finance-related crimes between July 2012 and January 2017, including the unauthorized use of client funds and entrusted property, which involved 148.6 billion yuan, as the Shanghai court listed in the statement.

Between November 2013 and January 2017, Tomorrow Holdings and Xiao manipulated the companies it controlled to not conduct substantial audit on the false financing projects set up by Tomorrow Holdings, and transferred insurance funds to Tomorrow Holdings for use in violation of the insurance law, involving a total of more than 190.9 billion yuan.  

From 2001 to 2021, Tomorrow Holdings and Xiao also bribed multiple government officials by giving them shares, real estate, cash and other assets, totaling more than 680 million yuan, to evade financial oversight and seek illegitimate benefits, the statement said. 

"The criminal acts committed by Tomorrow Holdings and Xiao Jianhua had seriously damaged the financial management order, seriously endangered the country's financial security, seriously infringed on the integrity of the state staff, and should be severely punished in accordance with the law," the court said in the statement.

Given Tomorrow Holdings and Xiao have turned themselves in, confessed their crimes and helped with the recovery of assets, they were given a lenient punishment according to law, the court's statement said. 

Some deputies to the people's congresses, members of the CPPCC and representatives from the public attended the hearings, according to the court.  

Some foreign media outlets have claimed that Xiao had Canadian citizenships. However, at a regular press conference of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Xiao is a Chinese citizen and does not enjoy consular protection of other countries.

"According to China's Nationality Law, China does not recognize dual nationality for Chinese citizens. Xiao has Chinese nationality, and China will try its own citizens for criminal acts in accordance with the law, and he does not enjoy the right to consular protection of other countries," Wang said.