Pangu Investment fined 245 million yuan, executives sentenced to prison



Three executives of an investment company controlled by fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui were sentenced to prison for fraud, according to a court ruling issued Friday.

Lyu Tao, Xie Honglin and Yang Ying of Beijing Pangu Investment Co. Ltd were sentenced to at least two years in prison for obtaining loans and foreign exchange by fraud, and the company was fined 245 million yuan (36 million US dollars), said the People's Court of Xigang District in China's northeast city of Dalian.

The three defendants and the company's representative all accepted the ruling at the court and said they won't appeal, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The court said the three executives were instructed by Guo to produce fake contracts, financial statements and company stamps to apply for a 3.2 billion yuan (470 million US dollars) loan from the Agricultural Bank of China in early 2010.

The charge against Lyu and Xie of fraudulently acquiring foreign currency totaling 13.5 million US dollars at the Bank of Communications also centered on Guo's payment for the purchase of a private jet in the name of importing furniture for a Hong Kong company World Century Limited.

Guo is wanted under an Interpol "red notice" at the request of Beijing, where Interpol member states are asked to locate and provisionally arrest him pending extradition, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in April. Guo is accused of corruption, and he fled to the US in 2015. He has been involved in at least five lawsuits in the US. Chinese HNA Group announced Thursday that it had filed a defamation suit against him in New York State.