The “straddling bus” appeared certain to be the biggest scam of the year, but now, it has met its match: one man pretended to be a well known financier, while his partner impersonated the very dead Emperor Qianlong from Qing dynasty fame. Together, they managed to trick a wealthy lady into giving them more than 40 million RMB.
The elaborate plan began back in 2012, when the victim, Zheng Xueju, was looking for investment opportunities and met Wan Jianmin, People’s Daily reports. Wan bragged that he had fought in the Vietnam War and was previously the Commissioner of Jiangxi Province. As for his “financial background,” he revealed to Zheng that he is a Class 16 financier in China with extensive knowledge of foreign investment systems and currently manages a fund of more than 300 billion RMB. As if that wasn’t enough, Wan boasted that he was well-connected in the Chinese Communist Party, as well as with military elites; plus he knew “Qianlong.”
Obviously, Zheng wanted to meet the man who ruled China as emperor from 1735 to 1796. Wan’s accomplice, Liu Qianzhen, told the wealthy lady that he was actually the Qianlong Emperor (1711 – 1799), and that he was alive because he drank the elixir of life — a much sought after drug for ancient Chinese emperors. On top of living the high-life for over 300 years, Liu even bluffed that he had inherited all the wealth from rich Qing dynasty families.
Remarkably enough, the old lady believed the two tricksters. Wan told her about a lucrative potential investment and asked her for money. In 2014, she transferred 10 million RMB of her own savings and later transferred an additional 30 million RMB of her husband’s money to the two “promising” fellows.
Currently, they are on trial in Shenzhen for fraud, impersonation, and scamming for profit.
Netizens were in disbelief after hearing the story:
“How the hell did this lady get so rich in the first place?” @冰淇淋店长小麻衣 wrote.
“40 million in wealth, 40 for IQ,” @ 锋子0809 wrote.
“Does anyone have her contact info? I swear I’m the real Qianlong!” @寂寂有灵_默默有声 wrote.
By Sarah Lin
[Images via Weibo]