Real Estate Swindler Gets Death Sentence

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SHANGHAI, China (AP) - A former land use official in Shanghai has been sentenced to death as an investigation into bribe-taking in return for real estate approvals winds down in China's biggest city.

A Shanghai court ordered the death sentence after finding Yin Guoguan, former deputy director of the city's Housing, Land and Resources Administration Bureau, guilty of taking bribes among a "host of crimes," said the official Xinhua News Agency and other reports.

However, the court ordered the actual execution be "suspended" for two years, the reports said. Such sentences in China are usually commuted to life imprisonment.

Yin and his former subordinates were among dozens of officials and business people implicated in a scandal involving unauthorized use of city pension funds as loans for real estate and other deals.

Yin and his wife, Chen Wei, who was sentenced to seven years, were convicted of taking bribes worth about $5 million in 2000-2004, Xinhua said. It said Yin also failed to account for the sources of assets for more than $600 million.

China's business capital has seen a number of top officials and business leaders punished recently in corruption scandals, including the sentencing in April of the city's former Communist Party chief, Chen Liangyu, to 18 years in prison for his role in a pension fund scandal.




Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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