12 years in jail for illegal fundraising scam

Dozens of investors were together cheated out of 7 million yuan (US$1.06 million).

A man involved in a 7 million-yuan (US$1.06 million) fundraising scam has been sentenced to 12 years and nine months behind bars.

The man surnamed Zhou set up an investment company and illegally raised public funds since March 2015. He set up offices and stores in Jing’an, Putuo and Pudong, Jing’an District People’s Court said.

Zhou fabricated lucrative investment ventures, promising high returns, and ordered employees to solicit potential investors. Dozens of people were tempted and then cheated.

The illegal operation netted more than 7 million yuan, according to the court.

The defendant put most of the money raised into his own pocket. As he couldn’t make payouts to the investors, he fled Shanghai in January 2016. Five months ago, he returned, and was found hiding in a hotel room in Pudong, where he was caught by police.

As he had returned some of his ill-gotten gains, he was granted a lighter sentence, the court said. He was also fined 200,000 yuan.

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