A Shanghai court has rejected an appeal by Anbang Insurance Group former chairman, Wu Xiaohui, against a conviction for fundraising fraud and embezzlement that led to an 18-year jail sentence and confiscation of CNY10.5bn ($1.52bn), reports Reuters.
In a statement, the Shanghai High People's Court said: "The evidence was solid and sufficient. The conviction was accurate. The sentencing was appropriate."
In May, Xiaohui was found guilty of fraud and embezzlement and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
The Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court saw Xiaohui guilty of issuing false disclosures to regulators and diverting insurance premiums for his personal use. The court also confiscated 10.5bn yuan ($1.65bn) in assets.
Xiaohui reportedly contested the charges against him on the first day of his trial but later shifted tone as he asked the court for leniency.
Xiaohui led the insurer as it became one of China’s most aggressive dealmakers with a series of major overseas acquisitions.
In February, the Chinese government seized control of Anbang in an attempt to curtail big-spending conglomerates as it cracked down on financial risk.
Later in April, the China Banking Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) approved a plan to inject ¥60.804bn ($9.65bn) of capital into the company while seeking new investors.
In June 2018 the Chinese government took full ownership of Anbang as the CBIRC approved the transfer of 98.23 percent of Anbang to China Insurance Security Fund.
In July it was rumoured that Anbang was exploring the sale of Belgian insurer Fidea, which would be the first European divestment by the troubled Chinese group since it was seized by the government.