Chinese woman forced by husband to seduce men online and steal their money, and both are sentenced to jail
- Wife was ordered to trick men out of money, which her husband spent on cars and prostitutes
- After being handcuffed while working for months at a computer, she escaped and told police about the scheme
A man in southwestern China has been sentenced to seven years in prison for forcing his wife to seduce people online and trick them out of their money, which he then spent on prostitutes and fast cars.
The court in Chongqing’s Shapingba district sentenced the woman to two years, according to a report by local news portal Thecover.cn.
Police said the woman, whose name was not released, made 310,000 yuan (US$44,500) from the scheme between March 2017 and August 2018, when she escaped from her home and reported the activity to the police.
During that time, she was forced to sit in front of a computer from 7am to 11pm every day and chat with strangers on the internet, arousing people’s sympathy by highlighting her family’s destitution or luring male users to send her money by offering to have sex with them, the report said.
Her husband, who also was not identified, restricted her freedom by handcuffing one of her wrists to his own, the woman was quoted as saying.
“No matter where I went, he would follow me. I had no chance to escape,” she said.
The man required her to make at least 3,000 yuan a day or he would beat her, the report said.
The woman said she targeted internet users who lived in the Yangtze River Delta regions since residents there tended to be wealthy.
Some of the fraud victims were truly offering her help by giving her money, while some wanted her to chat with them in the nude. Others said they hoped the woman would visit their towns to “play together”.
One man sent her more than 60,000 yuan through several fund transfers, the woman said.
Her husband squandered all the money. He once brought a prostitute home and they slept in the same bed as his wife, who was forced to watch.
The court handed down a relatively lenient punishment for the woman as she was threatened by her husband to commit the crime and she has a seven-year-old daughter to raise, the report said.
The couple’s car will be auctioned to raise funds to pay back some of the victims, according to the court. Some of her victims, after reading the woman’s experience from news reports, told her that they did not want the money back, the report said.
Many social media users said the woman had been harshly treated.
“Why did the court sentence the wife to jail? After all, she was forced to do that and she reported to police,” a person wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
“I think the man’s punishment is too light,” said another.