The mistress of a disgraced former senior official at China’s disbanded Ministry of Railways has lost her appeal against a five-year jail sentence after she was convicted of taking bribes. Luo Fei, 33, was found guilty last year of accepting more than 1.5 million yuan (HK$1.9 million) in kickbacks, but appealed. A statement from Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court on Tuesday said it had upheld the sentence. Lu was a former singer and the mistress of Zhang Shuguang, the railways ministry’s former deputy chief engineer who was responsible for buying rolling stock and other equipment. He was given a suspended death sentence last year for accepting more than 47 million yuan in bribes. Luo accepted cash and gifts from Yang Jianyu, the former president of Guangzhou Zhongche Railway Vehicles Equipment. Yang offered the bribes to Luo in order to curry favour with her lover and to help secure contracts with the ministry’s transport bureau to install air conditioners and other equipment. As well as a BMW car and luxury watches, Yang also gave Luo the position of publicity director for another company that sold train parts. She held the position for nearly three years, earning 490,000 yuan. The two watches and money totaling 790,000 yuan have been recovered. Luo had appealed against her sentence arguing that her relationship with Zhang was not a ruse to use his position for her own personal gain. The court said Luo understood Zhang’s duties yet still accepted the bribes, which constituted a criminal offence.