A Guangdong man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for defrauding eight middle-aged women of 4 million yuan ($585,000) in one of the biggest fraud cases of the year, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
Ye Rihai of Xuwen county plans to appeal the sentence handed down by the Foshan intermediate people's court, which included the confiscation of his luxury car that will be sold to fund compensation payments.
Ye, who targeted widows and divorcees, was first suspected of fraud in 2006 after he "borrowed" 2.68 million yuan from a woman identified by the surname "He", with whom he lived for two years.
He later disappeared and the woman reported him to police who found and detained him.
However, he was released last year for lack of evidence.
In September of that year, Ye was arrested again after police received more reports of him committing fraud.
Chen Xiaochen, a press officer of the Foshan court, said Ye claimed to be the grandson of a retired general in Taiwan and heir to his fortune. He also said he was a wealthy liquor wholesaler.
Born in 1963, Ye would pass himself off as being 10 years older to gain the trust of his targets. Although he was not good-looking and only 150 cm tall, he had the gift of gab, Chen said.
Ye's lawyer insisted his client's case belonged in a civil, rather than criminal court, Chen said.
But the court disagreed.
"Ye intentionally defrauded others of their property by lying about his age, marital status and financial situation. And after defrauding his victims, he left them," Chen said.
Source: China Daily