China: Eleventh richest businessman jailed for stock market fraud

Zhou Zhengyi, one of China's most senior business leaders, has been given three years in jail for stock market fraud following a secret trial.

Commentators immediately remarked upon the relative lightness of the sentence - some other corruption cases have seen the use of the death penalty - giving rise to speculation that some sort of deal has been done to implicate others that have also been involved.

Zhou was arrested last year on charges of manipulating share prices and falsifying registered capital reports. The charges followed an investigation into loans he procured from Bank of China worth 2bn yuan.

Other potential charges have not been pursued. For instance, a case had been brought by over 2,000 people last year alleging collusion between Zhou's company and local government officials to take over homes without adequate compensation to their owners.

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