Billionaire Xiao Jianhua, who was taken away from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong five years ago, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Shanghai court for financial crimes. It also fined his Tomorrow Holdings conglomerate a record 55.03 billion yuan.
The Shanghai First Intermediate Court said on Friday the tycoon had been found guilty of "illegally absorbing public deposits... and illegal use of funds".
A court statement said the tycoon and his Tomorrow Holdings had "severely violated financial management order", and "hurt state financial security".
From 2001 to 2021, the court said, Xiao and his holding company gave shares, real estate, cash and other assets to government officials totalling more than 680 million yuan, to evade financial supervision and seek illegitimate interests.
Xiao himself was fined 6.5 million yuan for the crimes.
The billionaire has not been seen in public since 2017, when he was taken from the Four Seasons Hotel in Central. In July 2020, nine of the group's related institutions were seized by Chinese regulators as part of a crackdown on risks posed by financial conglomerates.
According to the Hurun Report, which ranks China's wealthiest people, Xiao was worth almost 6 billion US dollars in 2017. (Agencies)