May 10 (UPI) — A Shanghai court on Thursday sentenced Wu Xiaohui, founder of Anbang Insurance Group, to 18 years in prison for fraud and abuse of power.
The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court also confiscated $1.65 billion of Wu’s assets as part of the Chinese government’s efforts to crack down on fraud and abuse of power.
The sentence came after a one-day trial in March in which Wu admitted he fraudulently raised billions of dollars from investors. Authorities first detained Wu last June.
The court said Wu instructed the falsification of documents and personally embezzled some of the premiums from the company. The government seized the privately held company in February and was expected to oversee Anbang for at least a year until new investors are found.
The seizure was China’s largest takeover of a privately owned company.
Anbang has $315 billion in assets and is among the highest-profile Chinese companies in international investments. It purchased New York City’s iconic Waldorf-Astoria in 2014.
A year ago, the company was in talks to invest in a company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser.