The Higher People's Court in south China's Hainan Province upheld the suspended death sentence against a former executive of a trust and investment company who pocketed a large amount of money from public funds, a court spokesman said on Wednesday.
Shi Xue, 45, former head of the Hainan Huayin International Trust and Investment Corp. and board chairman of the defunct Dalian Securities Co., was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for embezzling 260 million yuan (38.2 million U.S. dollars) and swindling 2.4 billion yuan by selling fake public debts, the provincial higher people's court heard.
He also tried to defraud the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, of 1.4 billion yuan by fake financial certificates, according to the court investigation.
The intermediate people's court in Haikou City, capital of Hainan, charged Shi with embezzlement, stealing state funds, fraudwith fake financial certificates and illegally raising funds. His accomplice Liang Yong was charged with corruption and embezzlement.
The intermediate court handed down a suspended death sentence to Shi and a life sentence to Liang in January. The prosecutors appealed the initial verdict, considering the sentences were "too" light. The two defendants also appealed.
The higher court heard the appeals in July and upheld the original sentence on Friday.
Sources said the amount of embezzled money in this case was oneof the largest in China since 1949.