Chinese Debate Former Tycoon's Death Sentence For Fraud | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Chinese Debate Former Tycoon's Death Sentence For Fraud

The case of Wu Ying, a young Chinese woman sentenced to death for defrauding investors of 770 million yuan ($122 million), is headed to China's Supreme Court, after Wu lost her appeal of her sentence late this week.

For nearly two years, Wu, 31, was involved in a Ponzi scheme in which she promised investors very high returns — as much as 80 percent, according to reports. About half of the money she raised could not be returned to investors; Wu rang up millions in debt during that period, between May 2005 and February 2007, when she was arrested.

In China, the fate of Wu, who was once the country's sixth-richest woman has stirred a public debate.

From its Hong Kong bureau, The Wall Street Journal reports that "the bulk of the public outrage over her case appears to revolve around what some perceive as a double standard in the Chinese legal system that punishes private citizens while treating corrupt government officials with kid gloves."

The Journal quotes a user of Weibo, China's version of Twitter, who wrote, "'Wu Ying is guilty but it doesn't call for death. The harm wrought on society by (officials) is worse than Wu Ying's. They should be equal in the eyes of the law!"

According to China Daily, Wu maintained her innocence during her first trial — but when she was tried again, she admitted that she had "illegally pooled public deposits," a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

But when her verdict was read in court, Wu was informed that she had been found guilty of "fraudulent fundraising," a crime for which she was sentenced to death.

China Daily cites an online survey, in which around 64 percent of nearly 400,000 respondents said that the death penalty is too harsh a sentence in Wu's case.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Miss Colombia Wins Pageant; Miss Jamaica Wins Twitter?

Days later, bad feelings linger among the Miss Universe pageant viewers who believe that the wrong contestant won. Many watchers on social media say Miss Jamaica should being wearing the crown.
NPR

Watch 'Bob's Burgers'? Now You Can Eat Them, Too

What happens when you try to make a burger out of a pun? One blog, two years, and dozens of recipes later, millions of fans can now cook up their very own Bob's burgers.
WAMU 88.5

Drilling Off Virginia Coast Could Harm Neighboring States, Cardin Says

The Obama administration has decided to open up the Atlantic states to offshore drilling, a move that is not playing well among East Coast democrats like U.S. Sen. Cardin (D-MD).
NPR

Facebook Suffers Self-Inflicted Outage

A Facebook statement said the disruption was caused by a technical change it made to the site and wasn't a cyberattack. The outage lasted an hour.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.