Beijing – The former chairman of one of China’s largest state-controlled asset management firms was sentenced to death Tuesday for soliciting $260 million in bribes, corruption and bigamy.

Lai Xiaomin, a former Communist Party member, gave a detailed confession on state broadcaster CCTV in January 2020, with footage of a Beijing apartment reportedly belonging to Lai replete with safes and cabinets stuffed with stacks of cash.

Lai had abused his position in attempting to obtain the vast sum, the court in Tianjin said, describing the bribes as “extremely large” and calling the circumstances “particularly serious”.

He had shown “extreme malicious intent,” the court ruling added.

Lai, former chairman of the Hong Kong-listed China Huarong Asset Management Co, was also found guilty of bigamy after living “as man and wife for long periods” outside of his marriage and fathering illegitimate children.

Lai, whose investigation started in April 2018, also embezzled over 25 million yuan (about R56 million) in public funds between 2009 and 2018.

During his televised confession, Lai told CCTV he “did not spend a single penny, and just kept it there… I did not dare to spend it”.

CCTV also showed luxury cars and gold bars that it reported Lai had accepted as bribes.


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