A lawyer was among a group of eight who were jailed yesterday for setting up debt traps and running a loan shark scam.
The lawyer, Cao Yifan, filed a lawsuit incorporating false evidence against the debtors, demanding they pay off the loan. He was sentenced to three years behind bars for fraud.
Seven others, who were also convicted of racketeering conspiracy and illegal imprisonment, received jail terms ranging from two to 16 years, according to Jing'an District People's Court.
In March 2016, ringleader Chen Yingang and three others set up a loan shark company and hired three employees.
The court found they were involved in at least four frauds, and that Cao took part in three of the cases.
One victim surnamed Lu had attempted to borrow 150,000 yuan (,665) from the company, but he was ordered to sign an IOU note stating a 250,000-yuan debt. In fact, Chen didn't lend Lu a single penny but still demanded money from him.
Lu refused to pay, and was beaten up. As violence hadn't worked, however, Cao then sued Lu but dropped the lawsuit after other group members were placed under police investigation.