- Wu Xiaohui, former chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for fundraising fraud and embezzlement.
- Anbang was founded in 2004 and bought the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. It also has significant stakes in Chinese banks and property developers.
Wu Xiaohui, former chairman of Anbang Insurance group, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for fundraising fraud and embezzlement, state-run China Daily reported.
Wu, 51, founded private insurer Anbang in 2004, and in 2014, bought the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. It also has significant stakes in Chinese banks and property developers.
Wu stood trial at the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court in March and admitted at the time that he played a role in a fundraising scheme that brought in more than 723 billion yuan ($115.2 billion) from unlawful dealings. He initially contested charges against him but later asked for leniency.
He has also been accused of misleading investors and diverting 65.25 billion yuan ($10.4 billion) to companies that he controlled, and funneled funds into overseas investment and personal spending.
Regulators seized control of Anbang in February. The company boasted of extensive ties to China’s Communist Party, and Wu himself is married to the granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, China’s former paramount leader.
Wu had links to US presidential adviser Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, and reportedly met with Wu in November 2016, shortly after Trump won the election.
Both Kushner and Wu are real-estate investors, and Kushner’s family business, Kushner Companies, were in talks on a $4 billion deal with Anbang last March. However, the deal fell through shortly after news broke following scrutiny from US lawmakers.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating contact between Kushner and foreign investors during the transition period, specifically looking at Kushner’s interactions with Anbang.