Chinese businesswoman convicted of cheating has death penalty reduced to 25 years' jail

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A self-made Chinese businesswoman, originally handed the death penalty for cheating investors out of millions, had her sentence reduced again on Friday (March 23) to a 25-year jail term, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

In 2007, Wu Ying was convicted of cheating investors out of 380 million yuan (S$79 million) from May 2005 to January 2007 in lending scams. Two years later, she was sentenced to death.

Wu amassed her fortune by promising investors high returns as she spent the money on a lavish lifestyle.

Her case had sparked heated public debate over China's fundraising system, which outlaws all forms of private lending, though some thought the original sentence was too harsh.

After a retrial in 2012, her sentence was reduced to death with a two-year reprieve. The sentence was then commuted to life imprisonment in 2014.

The Zhejiang native opened a hair salon in 1997 and later became the president of her own investment firm Bense.