Californian writ alleges Zhang Enzhao took US$1m bribe to scrap multimillion-dollar contract Former chairman of the China Construction Bank Zhang Enzhao, who stepped down amid a corruption scandal, is facing a civil lawsuit in California which alleges he took US$1 million in bribes, according to a leading mainland investigative magazine. The top CCB official resigned last Sunday citing 'personal reasons'. The bank gave an assurance that his departure would not affect its assets and liabilities. He was replaced by the mainland's foreign-exchange chief, Guo Shuqing , on Thursday. It is understood mainland authorities were alerted to the bribery accusations after the lawsuit was filed in December and an investigation was launched. Yesterday, the Beijing-backed Wen Wei Po said 7 million yuan in deposit slips were found at Mr Zhang's home. An investigation team set up by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the China Banking Regulatory Commission is looking into the allegations, it said. In its latest edition, Caijing magazine, citing court documents, reported a lawsuit had been filed against Mr Zhang in a California court by a Beijing-based plaintiff. Grace & Digital Information Technology (G&D) alleged that Mr Zhang took bribes from ALLTEL Information Services (AIS). G&D claims AIS breached a contract to pay it a US$58.7 million commission for running a marketing campaign to sell software to the bank. G&D says its efforts led to CCB awarding two contracts to AIS in 2001, worth US$176 million. But an AIS executive took Mr Zhang and two of his friends to the exclusive Pebble Beach golf resort in California, where they struck new contracts which scrapped the commission due to G&D. AIS is alleged to have channelled the US$1 million bribe to Zhang through a Hong Kong-based company owned by a friend of Mr Zhang's, Caijing said. In addition, at Mr Zhang's request, AIS agreed to pay for his son's education in the UK, as well as his wife's travel expenses between Beijing and London. AIS has denied most of the corruption charges but admitted they invited Mr Zhang to Pebble Beach, although the bill for the golf tour, alleged to be US$10,000, was an exaggeration, it said. Caijing quoted Jim Wilson, an AIS executive, as saying said language barriers, as well as the presence of a translator, made it impossible to conduct business discussions during the golf tour. AIS was acquired by Fidelity National Financial (FNF), a Florida-based financial company in 2003 and changed its name to Fidelity Information Services (FIS). The two companies, as well as an FNF subsidiary, are listed as defendants in the lawsuit. They acknowledged AIS had a written agreement with G&D, but claimed the contract was terminated when G&D failed to assist with AIS' sales pitch. No hearing date has been set.