Guo Meimei sentenced to 2 and 1/2 years in prison for selling toxic food
Guo Meiling, better known as Guo Meimei, an Internet celebrity, has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison for selling toxic and harmful food, according to a ruling by the Shanghai Railway Transport Court on Monday.
Guo was also fined 200,000 yuan (US$31,100).
Guo and another defendant, Wang Zouya, are alleged to have sold diet sugar containing sibutramine, a drug that acts on the central nervous system to suppress appetite, the court said.
Sibutramine is banned in China, as it can cause side effects such as high blood pressure, increased heart rate and even death in severe cases.
Guo and Wang began selling the diet sugar at 699 yuan per box from January and February, respectively, even though they were aware that the sugar contained illegal ingredients, according to the court.
Guo had sold more than 100 boxes, earning more than 70,000 yuan, by the time she was caught by police.
She also helped Wang sell four boxes of the candy for 2,796 yuan.
The public prosecution organ said that Guo and Wang had committed the crime of selling toxic and harmful food.
Wang was jailed for seven months and fined 10,000 yuan.
Guo, 30, a young influencer, has more than a million followers on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-liked social media platform. She first drew public attention in 2011 when she claimed to work for an organization under Red Cross Society of China and boasted a luxurious lifestyle to draw attention.
The Red Cross denied any relationship with her, and she later stated it was all a misunderstanding.
Guo was also sentenced to jail in 2015 for running a casino and released in 2019.