FoxNews / Associated Press report that a Chinese business man was sentenced to death for swindling $385 million from investors.
The scheme involved ants which are used in some traditional Chinese medicinal remedies, which can fetch a high price.
One observer quipped: "Mr. Zhendong would have been better off moving here and soliciting FDA approval for his ant-breeding kits."
Fifteen managers of the company were given prison terms ranging from five to 10 years and fined from $12,800 to $64,000.
AP notes: "The death penalty is used broadly in China. Though usually reserved for violent crimes, it is also applied for nonviolent offenses that involve large sums of money or are deemed to have a pernicious social impact."
The pharmaceutical industry's record of fraudulent marketing of drugs http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/440/94/
hazardous drug that have had a pernicious impact on the public health. And the record includes a long list of civil and criminal cases brought by state attorneys general against pharmaceutical companies that defrauded Medicaid of large sums of money. http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/413/29/
Given that record, China is probably not a good place for the pharmaceutical industry–unless companies are willing to market their products without engaging in fraud…
Chinese Businessman Gets Death for Bogus Ant-Breeding Scheme
Thursday, February 15, 2007
BEIJING — A Chinese business executive was sentenced to death for swindling $385 million from investors in a bogus ant-breeding scheme, a court official said Thursday.
Wang promoted his products through advertising and drew in more than 10,000 investors between 2002 and June 2005 when investigators shut down his companies, the Web site of People's Daily reported.
The Intermediate People's Court in Yingkou on Tuesday sentenced Wang to death, said an official in the court's case office who gave only his surname, Yin.
Fifteen managers of the company were given prison terms ranging from five to 10 years and fined from $12,800 to $64,000, Xinhua said.
Fake investments and pyramid investment schemes have become common during China's transition from a planned economy to a free market. Chinese leaders have tried to eradicate the scams, fearing widespread losses could add to already percolating social unrest.
The death penalty is used broadly in China. Though usually reserved for violent crimes, it is also applied for nonviolent offenses that involve large sums of money or are deemed to have a pernicious social impact.
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