The elder brother of former Chinese presidential aide Ling Jihua, who faces corruption charges, has also been expelled from the Communist Party for alleged graft. Ling Zhengce, 63, took bribes in return for helping businesses, including his relatives', and for handing out promotions, the government’s main anti-corruption agency said in a statement on Friday. The elder Ling was the former vice chairman of Shanxi province’s political advisory body. His younger brother, Ling Jihua, was a former aide to ex-president Hu Jintao. The authorities announced last month that he had been thrown out of the party and would be criminally prosecuted on corruption charges. READ MORE: Former Chinese presidential aide Ling Jihua faces prosecution Ling Zhengce’s expulsion and removal from his posts within the party came after a 14-month investigation into his affairs, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced on Thursday that it had started a criminal inquiry into Ling’s case, meaning anti-graft investigators have formally handed his file over to prosecutors. The anti-graft agency also alleged that Ling had tried to obstruct their investigation. The authorities announced in June last year that he was formally under investigation, one of several senior officials in Shanxi to be accused of graft in the province under the government’s sweeping anti-corruption crackdown. The scrutiny into Ling last year was viewed by analysts as a signal that the party would launch a formal investigation into his younger brother Ling Jihua. An investigation found evidence that the former presidential aide had violated “political rules” and organisational discipline and failed to protect the secrets of the party the state-run news agency Xinhua reported last month. Ling also allegedly took large bribes and sought profits for his close allies, Xinhua said. The Ling family was allegedly the core of the “Shanxi gang”, a name given by state media to describe a faction of the party formed by cadres with links to the province. READ MORE: How Ling Jihua, once one of China's most powerful men, fell from grace Seven provincial level cadres and dozens of lower-level officials from Shanxi have been detained in graft probes. The youngest brother of Ling Zhengce, Ling Wancheng, is a businessman and has fled to the United States, according to The New York Times and the mainland media outlet Caixin. Mainland media reported last month that the probe into Ling Zhengce marked the most time-consuming investigation in the current anti-graft campaign. Communist Party graft busters often close a case within 10 months and pass it on to prosecutors, the reports said.