A former deputy bank chief who bought over 40 properties using forged hukou has been sentenced to three years in prison by a court in Shaanxi province, SCMP reports.
Gong Aiai, who was deputy chief of Shenmu Rural Commercial Bank, was nicknamed ‘Sister House’ online after it was revealed that she had used forged official documents and stamps to enable her to buy numerous properties in Beijing, despite restrictions on owning more than own property in the capital.
The court said Gong knowingly provided false identity information to obtain two identities in Shaanxi and one in Beijing, actions that disrupted social order and exerted a negative social impact.
The case against Gong attracted nationwide attention as police evidence showed that Gong, 49, owned more than 40 properties, including 26 shops, seven offices, seven flats and one villa in Beijing with a total contract price of 395 million yuan (HK$498 million) under four identities.
Gong claimed in court that she was unaware that it was illegal to own more than one ID, and may appeal her conviction.
Questions have arisen over where the deputy bank chief found the hundreds of millions of yuan needed to buy all her properties. According to Xinhua, “police said they have not received reports that Gong was involved in illegal fundraising, absorption of public deposits, or contract fraud.”
However, many online commentators questioned whether Gong could have acquired the funds to buy property legitimately, a view echoed by the Beijing Youth Daily in an editorial:
As many normal people feel so powerless over the rising property prices, the public has the right to ask for a deep explanation on how Gong miraculously amassed such a huge real estate empire, even if it was legal.
Four police officers were also convicted on charges of assisting Gong in identity fraud.
[Image credit: Xinhua]