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Executives linked to fallen Chinese presidential aide jailed

Posted November 25

— A group of Chinese executives linked to an imprisoned former presidential aide who was brought down by a fatal Ferrari crash were convicted Friday of insider trading and other offenses.

The former chairman, chief executive and 10 other executives of Founder Group, a conglomerate with interests in technology, real estate and finance, were convicted by a court in the northeastern city of Dalian. The former CEO, Li You, was sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison and fined 750 million yuan ($110 million). Penalties for the others were not announced.

Another court said last year Founder made payments to Ling Jihua, a former chief of staff to President Hu Jintao who was sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes.

News reports said Li, the former CEO, bought a Ferrari for Ling's son, who died in a car crash in Beijing with two nude or half-dressed women as passengers. Ling fell from political favor when he was accused of trying to cover up the accident.

Friday's ruling by the Dalian Intermediate People's Court made no mention of charges related to Ling.

It said Li, former Founder chairman Wei Xin and other executives improperly profited from confidential financial information, falsifying records and trying to obstruct investigators.

Founder was established by Peking University in 1986 and expanded into personal computers in the 1990s, becoming one of China's leading technology brands.

The company later diversified into health care, pharmaceuticals, real estate and commodities trading. It is best known today for its finance subsidiary, Founder Securities.

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