Chinese Tycoon Gets Life Sentence for Smuggling | CHINA US Focus

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Chinese Tycoon Gets Life Sentence for Smuggling

Andrew Jacobs, New York Times
May 18, 2012
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Lai Changxing, an illiterate peasant-turned-billionaire whose legacy of bribery, smuggling and monumental profligacy came to personify the excesses of the economic reform era, was given a life sentence on Friday for his role in what the government has described as modern China’s biggest corruption scandal, according to the state news media.
 
At his peak, Mr. Lai drove a bulletproof Mercedes, distributed wads of cash to the poor and had in his thrall hundreds of officials in Xiamen, the special economic zone in Fujian, the coastal province where he made his fortune. The scandal brought down scores of those officials, led to the unexplained prison deaths of his brother and his accountant and provoked hand-wringing among top Communist Party officials who feared they might be next.
 
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