Authorities have wrapped up the tax-evasion probe of popular actress Liu Xiaoqing, indicating the police will soon hand the high-profile case to the courts. Investigators concluded that Liu, 51, had dodged tax payments totalling 14.5 million yuan (HK$13.7 million) since 1996 in connection with her companies, the Beijing Xiaoqing Culture and Arts Company and Beijing Xiaoqing Real Estate Company, Xinhua reported yesterday. The authorities have also imposed a penalty of 5.7 million yuan on Liu to make up the interest payable on the evaded tax. Xinhua said the tax authorities had already recovered 1.96 million yuan and frozen bank accounts holding 2.1 million yuan belonging to Liu and her companies. Xinhua reported that authorities would soon auction the properties under the name of Liu and her companies to pay the outstanding balance of 16.2 million yuan. It did not mention when the trial would start. The arrest of Liu on June 20 this year sent a loud warning to celebrities and entrepreneurs that the mainland's tax authorities had stepped up a crackdown on tax evasion. Liu - a household name in China who starred in many films such as Lotus Town and Look At This Family - set up four separate companies in 1996 involved in property, films, arts and advertising, all bearing her name. She had been described by mainland media as one of the wealthiest women in China. After the investigation started in April, the four firms ceased operating. Liu was stopped by border police in Shenzhen as she tried to enter Hong Kong.