The infamous 19-year-old Guangxi woman who managed to con charitable donors out of nearly 100,000 RMB through fake posts on Weibo claiming that her father had been killed in last year’s Tianjin explosions faced trial on Wednesday for “spreading false rumors.”
Yang Cailan wrote two posts on her Weibo account “@“我的心属于拜仁穆尼黑always” in the wee hours of August 13th, claiming that her dad had been tragically killed in the massive explosions and also mentioning that her mother had passed away years before.
Yang first reposted the news of the Tianjin blasts and captioned that she was so scared because her dad works near the site and she can not reach him by phone.
In her third fake and longest fake post, Yang says that she had just been to the hospital to meet with her father for the last time. The post was read by more than two million times:
This post got Yang the attention she wanted. It was quickly circulated and shared with some 3,739 charitable web users donating nearly 100,000 RMB to her via Weibo’s reward feature, which allows users to directly pay the author of a post.
While investigating the matter, Guangxi police discovered discrepancies on Yang’s account and her latest posts. The officers immediately locked her account and returned the money to the donors.
After further investigation, the Guangxi prosecutors asserted that Yang had been totally deceitful about her account, she had also lied when she told authorities her account had been hacked. She now faces charges of spreading false and misleading information and defrauding money.
According to the ninth amendment to China’s criminal law, anyone disseminating false information and disturbing social order shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years. If the case is serious, the imprisonment shall be more than three years but not exceeding seven years.
The court has yet to render a verdict.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Tencent]