Fake 'princeling' jailed for conning Hong Kong satellite-TV executives

Mainland reports say fraudster and his partner fooled executives into handing over money

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 5:16am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 2:28pm

A mainland man who claimed to be related to state leaders has been jailed for conning senior executives at a Hong Kong-based satellite television operator, a mainland newspaper reported.

Yang Yaoze, 44, led bosses at Hong Kong Satellite Television to believe he was a so-called princeling and persuaded the company's chairman to give him more than 1.31 million yuan (HK$1.66 million), the Fazhi Wanbao reported.

His girlfriend Cheng Ying was jailed for six years, the newspaper said, after both were convicted of fraud by an intermediate-level court in Beijing.

The station's deputy chief executive Xue Jianhua told the court he was introduced to Yang in 2008 by a friend who told him Yang was related to state leaders, the newspaper reported. Xue claimed to be deputy head of a branch of the Communist Party's powerful secretariat, and Yang said he saw Xue in a car with military number plates.

Company chairman Gao Hongxing said he was introduced to Yang by Xue. Yang claimed he could help him obtain land for a studio in Hebei province and use his influence to help Gao take a stake in a coal mine in Inner Mongolia .

Later, Gao sent Yang an unspecified amount of money after Yang asked for help with a financial problem. Yang asked him for money on various occasions and he sent a total of 1.31 million yuan to an account held by Cheng.

Gao, Xue and two other executives were also duped into setting up a joint venture with Yang, who used funds from the venture to buy cars and daily necessities.

The court heard that Yang was actually from the northwestern Ningxia Hui autonomous region and was educated only to high school level.

Hong Kong Satellite Television broadcasts on the mainland from studios in Beijing and Shenzhen as well as on Hong Kong pay television. However, the money lost in the fraud came from companies linked to the four executives, not the station.