The founding vice president of Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday after being found guilty over fundraising fraud involving 2.1 billion yuan (US$385 million).
He Xuemei, 51, had been accused by Chinese prosecutors of duping as many as 9,000 people through social media between 2015 and 2017 — including some high-level officials within ZTE — in the name of financial management. She was also convicted of misappropriation and embezzlement.
He was found to have used the raised funds to purchase high-risk trust wealth management products and invest in real estate, as well as buying stocks and repaying personal debts.
A former chairperson of the ZTE labor union, she was also accused of embezzling 390 million yuan from a company affiliated with the union, and using her position to embezzle 3.1 million yuan from the Shenzhen-based ZTE.
The Wednesday verdict also revealed that the prosecutors filed a case to investigative He on July 11, 2017. She was rescued in hospital on the same day after taking 50 sleeping pills in a suicide attempt.
He was taken away by the police and admitted her guilt after being discharged from hospital.
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