Wu Xiaohui, former chairman of China’s beleaguered insurance giant Anbang Group, was on Thursday jailed for 18 years for financial fraud worth more than $12 billion, Xinhua reported. His assets worth $1.65 billion will also be confiscated. Wu, 52, who would have got a life term, begged for a lenient sentence when he was put on trial in a Shanghai court on March 28. He faced charges of illegal fundraising, committing fraud worth $10.24 billion and swindling $1.57 billion from Anbang’s insurance premium income. Prosecutors said Wu harmed the safety of investors and the nation’s financial security. China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission will inject 60.8 billion yuan into Anbang to help it pay its debts. Wu, who rose from a car salesman to a tycoon, was often blinded by the power he enjoyed. He gained political clout after marrying Deng Zhuorui, granddaughter of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Acquiring global assets was his passion. Among his recent acquisitions was New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel (pictured) which he bought for $2 billion in 2014.
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