Prison sentences for 17 fraudsters

At least 94 stock investors were swindled out of more than US$7 million in a telephone scam offering expert securities information.

The leader of a gang which swindled investors out of more than 49 million yuan (US$7 million) has been sentenced to 14 and a half years in jail, prosecutors in Hongkou District said. 

Wang was also fined 300,000 yuan by Hongkou District People's Court. His 16 accomplices received sentences ranging from one year with a one-year reprieve to nine years, and fines from 10,000 to 150,000 yuan.

The gang, claiming to be members of a China Central Television (CCTV) channel providing securities information, called at least 94 investors recommending securities and persuaded them to pay membership or service fees. 

Between 2014 and 2017, prosecutors said, Wang, a consulting firm owner, claimed to be a CCTV executive who could provide professional guidance with his expert team and promised high returns in a short period. After investors made a first payment, they were urged to update their “services” for further payment. When some became suspicious and demanded their money back, the requests were denied and, in some cases, contact was cut. 

The telephone scam involved victims from all over the country and their losses were not only the payments to the gang but their losses on the stock market after buying the “recommended” securities.

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