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Chinese official gets suspended death sentence over anti-virus scam

Gov man pocketed bribes to put innocent start-up veep in the slammer

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A Chinese appeals court has confirmed a suspended death sentence against a corrupt official who took bribes and sent an innocent marketing executive to prison for a year in order to line his pockets.

Yu Bing, a former director of the network monitoring department of the Ministry of Public Security, embezzled 4.52 million yuan ($680K) and accepted a further 12.38 million yuan ($1.86 million) in bribes from four network firms, including an alleged 4.2 million yuan kickback ($630,000) from leading Chinese anti-virus firm Rising.

In return, Yu started a bogus investigation against Micropoint, an antivirus start-up whose founder Liu Xu and vice-president Tian Yakui had previously worked for Rising. Micropoint was falsely accused of distributing malware in order to drum up business. Tian was framed for the supposed malware distribution plot and wrongly accused of stealing trade secrets. The charges were used to pressurising Liu into selling the firm to Rising.

Yu also allegedly forwarded seized Micropoint computers to Rising as well as lobbying the official state-running testing centre against allowing the inspection and certification of Micropoint's software.

Tian was jailed for 11 months before he was eventually cleared of wrongdoing. Meanwhile Micropoint's business was put on hold for three years, costing it an an estimated 30 million Yuan (US$4.39 million) in the process. Micropoint is considering a civil lawsuit against Rising, which denies any wrongdoing.

Yu left China without permission in July 2008 before he was arrested on his return in September 2008.

In August, Yu was found guilty of graft and corruption, and received a death sentence, suspended for two years. The Beijing Higher People's Court recently upheld this sentence at a recent hearing, The Global Times reports. ®

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