Three people have appealed against first instance verdicts handed down last month for their involvement in a telecom fraud case linked to the death of a teenager last year.
Defendants Chen Wenhui, Huang Jinchun and Chen Baosheng said that their punishments were too severe, the Higher People's Court of east China's Shandong Province said Monday.
The court accepted the case and set up a collegial panel for the second instance trial.
On July 19, Chen Wenhui was given a life sentence by the Intermediate People's Court of Linyi City, Shandong Province, for fraud and violation of personal information. The court also ordered the confiscation of all of his personal assets and deprived him of his political rights for life.
The sentences for six accomplices ranged from three to 15 years.
Of the six, Huang and Chen Baosheng were sentenced to 12 years and 7 years, respectively.
From November 2015 to August 2016, the defendants telephoned high school students preparing for the gaokao (college entrance examination) after illegally purchasing their information online. They managed to swindle more than 560,000 yuan (83,000 U.S. dollars) through more than 23,000 calls.
Xu Yuyu, a senior high school graduate from Linyi, died of a cardiac arrest in August 2016 after losing 9,900 yuan (1,500 U.S. dollars) to the fraudsters. She was to use the money to pay her university tuition fees.
The telecom fraud by Chen Wenhui and his accomplices was causally linked to Xu's death, according to the first instance verdict.