Man sentenced to 20 years in jail for fraud and blackmail
A man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for fraud and blackmail, Shanghai police said on Sunday.
The man, surnamed Guo, claimed to be a lawyer and blackmailed clients over his services.
He made about 3 million yuan (US$430,000).
Police in Putuo District started their investigation at the end of 2017 when a woman surnamed Wang reported that she was being blackmailed by Guo.
Wang said she was introduced to Guo by a friend. Guo promised to settle a case of hers for 300,000 yuan. But she changed her mind before she paid him the money.
She then received numerous threatening messages from Guo. He also made up rumors about her on the Internet and put up defamatory posters about her in her residential complex.
Police discovered Guo had introduced himself as a lawyer to other people and had then blackmailed them.
In 2015, Guo made up false rumors about a real estate developer which affected the business of a hotel chain. The chain paid him 280,000 yuan to settle their problem, police said.
Five other people who were hired by Guo to blackmail people also received sentences.
Guo was also fined 600,000 yuan.