Considered capable, well-educated, politically reliable and young enough to be groomed as a future Communist Party leader, Wang Yali was once the 'most shining political star' in Hebei . Wang, who forged everything except her gender, is a classic example of how a nobody can rise to political prominence on the mainland, enjoying money and power through the skilful use of nepotism, forgery and sex. Dozens of officials on all levels within the party have been arrested, sacked or punished for their roles in her bold deceptions. She is now detained in Hengshui and police want her charged with taking bribes and duty encroachment. Her lawyer said she might face a heavy 20-year jail term considering the maximum 10-year term imposed on her brother, who was charged over his role in her rise to power. The 32-year-old postgraduate degree holder turned out to be an adept spider, weaving her web of dishonesty. An investigation triggered by a two-year wave of petitions from the disaffected daughter of one of her lovers revealed that Wang is actually a 41-year-old middle school dropout who changed her identity and upgraded her resume with a series of forgeries. Her political manoeuvrings over the past 10 years were so stunning that Li Yuanchao , head of the party's powerful Central Organisation Department, said at a departmental meeting that one of Wang's promotion papers was even signed at a dinner table and that the promotions were 'extremely ridiculous, which demonstrates the supervision was full of flaws'. Wang was born Ding Zengxin and lived for the first 20 years of her life in Xiyan village in Wuji county as the third child of Ding Xiaoguo , who did odd jobs at county construction sites, the village management committee wrote in a letter. As a young adult, she sang and danced with entertainment groups in the village until her father suggested that she become the adopted daughter of his employer, Wang Popan , who was married with three children. The two began living together as lovers in 1990 in a military family residential area, posing as father and daughter, and Ding Zengxin changed her name to Wang Yali. Although the two parted company years later over money conflicts, Wang Popan was the first stepping stone on Wang Yali's path to social success. It was his business connections that gave her the chance to meet the important people who either became 'sugar daddies' later or helped her in her career. 'My father used to be in the army and could get materials at very low prices and win bids for public projects with lower prices,' said Wang Cuimian , Wang Popan's daughter, whose petitioning eventually led to Wang Yali's downfall. 'He was a contractor on many government projects and donated one million yuan (HK$1.14 million) to build a public hospital in Wuji. Many county officials were my father's friends.' In 1994, Wang Popan began building a nine-storey parking garage in Shijiazhuang's Xinhua district. When he died in 2008, Wang Yali seized it illegally with the help of Wang Zhifeng , former Wuji county party secretary and then chief of Shijiazhuang traffic management bureau, who had taken Wang Popan's bribes. It was that seizure which prompted Wang Cuimian to start the petitioning process. Wang Yali's first important forgery got her the post of deputy head of personnel at the same traffic management bureau in 1997 - her first job as a government cadre. The identity certificate submitted to the Hebei Bureau of Industrial Administration in 1995, obtained by the South China Morning Post, showed Wang Yali had claimed to be a graduate of a military medical school and to have worked in a military hospital. 'She lived with my father in a military residential area, and that's it. She had never worked in a military hospital. It's all made up,' said Wang Cuimian, who did a thorough background investigation before reporting Wang Yali to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and its Hebei counterpart. Wang Yali's penchant for lying is reflected in her official r?sum?. It says she was born in 1978 and worked as a pharmacist in a military hospital between 1990 and 1995, when she left the army and became a cadre in the arms department in Zhengding county. A Beijing News reporter who asked the employers listed in the r?sum? about her was told they had never had such an employee. If the resume were to be believed, Wang Yali graduated from medical school and began working as a pharmacist in a big military hospital at the age of 12. Even so, it passed the scrutiny of personnel departments and was never challenged as she continued to receive promotions. Wang Yali's relationship with Wang Popan ended in 1997, when he called police to report the disappearance of US$1.1 million from his safe at home and she was considered the prime suspect. But he mysteriously withdrew his charges. Wang Cuimian said Wang Yali had threatened to report him as a rapist if he did not do so. She then developed a romantic relationship with Wang Zhifeng , her boss at the traffic management bureau, but it ended abruptly when he fled overseas in 1998 while being investigated for taking bribes. But that didn't slow her down. Her next 'mentor' was Zhang Zhenjiang , a good friend of Wang Popan and a powerful district chief for Xinhua. Zhang was promoted to secretary of the Shijiazhuang Political and Legislative Committee in July 2001 and smoothed a path for Wang Yali's rise to stardom. In October that year, Wang Yali became the assistant curator at the Revolutionary Memorial Museum in Xibaipo, a small village in Pingshan county. The museum's then party secretary, Zhao Guishi, and then curator Di Zhenhuan , who later became the Shijiazhuang Publicity Department's deputy chief, both helped her tremendously with future promotions. That museum job was the one that later provoked stern comments from Li, the head of the Central Organisation Department. Yang Luqun - personnel department chief at the Shijiazhuang Cultural Administration, which runs Xibaipo museum - didn't report the transfer to administration officials, according to the provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection. It was he who applied the approval chop to the forged r?sum? - at a dinner table. Less than a year later, Wang Yali became deputy director of Luquan city's scientific department, and then party secretary of the Luquan development zone less than a year after that - on the recommendation of Zhang Zhenjiang. Zhang Guoliang , then Luquan's party secretary, recalled that Zhang recommended Wang Yali as a 'very capable' cadre who should be given important positions when opportunities arose, according to the Beijing News. Zhang said Wang Yali's promotion was never discussed at meetings and her background file was never thoroughly checked. Wang took advantage of her post to move her residence registration from Shijiazhuang to Luquan and then moved it back within two weeks. Records show her year of birth was changed from 1973 to 1978 (after first being changed from 1969, her actual birth year), and so was her identity number, which is supposed to be difficult to change because of its relationship to a person's date of birth according to a complicated formula supposedly known only to the Ministry of Public Security. According to the copy of her change of residence registration or hukou, the forgery was handwritten and was easy to detect, yet it was registered officially. The forgery made Wang Yali younger and therefore eligible for training as a future leader. In 2007, Zhao Guishi and Di Zhenhuan recommended Wang Yali as deputy secretary of Shijiazhuang Youth League, the post she held when her schemes began to unravel. Petitions by Wang Cuimian finally led to a party probe in January 2009. She was sacked in May that year and handed over to prosecutors. Her trial in Hengshui Taocheng District Court is pending.