A Chinese real estate group was in court on Tuesday accused of stealing 1 billion yuan (147 million U.S. dollar) from nearly 10,000 clients from 17 provincial regions.
Xinglin Group was set up in 2009. Between February 2013 and September 2014 it had opened 2,300 real estate offices across the country, the Intermediate People's Court of Yinchuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, was told.
The companies' executives stand accused of using deposits paid by their clients to cover operational business expenses or to pay for personal items, the court heard.
By August 2014, due to financial difficulties, the group filed for bankruptcy, resulting in huge losses for the clients. Tens of thousands of victims were left without their deposits or their homes.
The open trial is expected to last four days.