Twenty-six executives of a Chinese online peer-to-peer lender stood trial in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday after allegedly cheating the public out of a huge amount of money.
Anhui Yucheng and Yucheng Global, operators of online P2P lender Ezubao, and 10 company executives, including Yucheng chairman Ding Ning, were charged with fundraising fraud, according to the No. 1 Intermediate People's Court in Beijing.
Another 16 were accused of illegally absorbing public deposits, the court said.
The local procuratorate charged that the defendants had used two online P2P platforms, Ezubao and Sesame Financial, to illegally raise funds and then spent lavishly on luxury gifts and salaries between June 2014 and December 2015.
Earlier, police found that Ezubao faked investment projects and cheated about 900,000 investors out of more than 50 billion yuan (7.3 billion U.S. dollars).
In early 2016, Zhang Min, president of Yucheng Global, said that Ezubao was nothing but a Ponzi scheme. She claimed that senior executives were fully aware of the nature of the business.
Some defendants were also charged with smuggling precious metals, illegal possession of guns and border-crossing.
The verdicts will be announced on another day.