Chinese tycoon Wu Ying, who had originally received a death penalty for illegal fund-raising, had her sentence reduced to life imprisonment at a trial on Friday.
The former sixth-richest woman in China had been initially sentenced in 2009 by the Jinhua Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang for cheating investors of about $60 million with false promises of high returns on investment. Her death sentence was given a two-year reprieve following a retrial in May 2012. According to the China Daily, Wu appealed for a fresh trial as her reprieve period was ending, and was given an open trial Friday. She had been serving time at the Zhejiang Provincial Women's Prison in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang.
According to local criminal law, cited by China Daily, a convicted person who has no criminal record in jail and has been serving a stay of execution, can apply for a reduction in penalty to life imprisonment. The trial on Friday reportedly heard that she had amassed the fortune by deliberately hiding facts and making false promises of high returns.
Wu, the founder of Bense Holding Group, had reportedly raised $122 million from investors between 2005 and 2007. Some of her supporters had reportedly claimed in 2012 that she was trying to raise the money through private financing and loans.
Yao Haitao, an official with the Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court, said, according to China Daily, that a video of the trial that commuted Wu's death sentence will be posted online.
After dropping out of school Wu had started a string of beauty parlors in 1997, before expanding the business to include spas, hotels and property.