A woman who once appeared on the list of China's 100 richest people may face death sentence for the country's biggest financial fraud.
Wu Ying, 28, who was ranked China's sixth richest woman and 68th richest person in 2006, had been detained for more than two years for allegedly swindling nearly 390 million yuan (USD 57 million) from 11 people in the famous Ponzi scam, China daily reported today.
Wu, who told the victims she would invest their money in various projects and promised them high return, however, used the money to pay off personal loans or spend it on consumption.
She had collected nearly 390 million yuan for the "purpose of possession", promising high returns, the indictment said.
"The amount she collected (from victims) was extremely large and resulted in huge losses," it added.
Wu, initially charged with illegal fund raising, now stands trial for financial fraud after more evidence was found against her.
The financial fraud, for which she had been charged, carry a maximum penalty of capital punishment, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile, Wu's attorney insisted that his client is innocent and told the court yesterday that Wu simply borrowed the money and did not cheat anyone. He also said Wu used the money for business and did not spend it illegally.