Four people who ran a credit card scam stealing nearly 4.5 million yuan (9,290) have been sentenced to more than 11 years behind bars.
Pudong New Area People's Court said they managed to obtain 328 credit cards, via identity theft, from eight banks.
The four bought "massive amounts" of personal information and recruited others to apply for credit cards, using the stolen identities, through a fake company, to bank outlets across China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan.
Hunan's capital city of Changsha was the center of the operation. An office was set up, which the gang used to answer phone calls from banks seeking verification. Once the cards were issued, they were immediately activated, with the money withdrawn or spent on shopping, the court said.
According to Shanghai Judicial Accounting Center, eight banks were cheated of 4.46 million yuan between July 2015 and May 2016.
Police busted the network a year ago and seized 22 people, aged 20 to 23. With the exception of a ringleader surnamed Wei, those detained returned their ill-gotten gains. Wei was jailed for 11 and a half years, and the other three ringleaders, surnamed Kuang, Tang and Yan, were sentenced to 12 years, 11 years and 10 months, and 11 years and 3 months respectively.
Seventeen others received jail terms ranging from three and a half years to three years with a five-year reprieve, and one person was exempted from punishment.