Chinese scientist gets 13 yrs in jail for embezzling funds



Beijing: A Chinese scientist has been sentenced to 13 years in jail for misusing research funds to enjoy extramarital affairs after his estranged wife exposed his wrongdoings.

Duan Zhenhao, professor of the academy's Institute of Geology and Geophysics, and his secretary Che Chunlan siphoned off 1.24 million yuan (USD 199,020) between 2002 and 2011 by faking travel expenses, the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court heard.

Prosecutors said the 54-year-old scientist himself also swindled 58,500 yuan in May, 2011, and Che alone embezzled 178,500 between 2003 and 2010, Beijing News reported.

For showing Duan how to make false claims for travel allowances and earning commissions upto 1.24 million yuan, Che got a lighter sentence of 10 years at the court.

Duan was also given a lenient penalty because he returned all his ill-gotten money, but he still appealed to the court ruling, the paper reported.

Duan's wife, Cao Xia, revealed on the Internet in June and July, 2011 that her husband abused research funds to support two mistresses, one surnamed Lin and the other surnamed Zhang, and fathered an illegitimate daughter.

In a response, Duan claimed that he donated sperm to help friends. Allegations about his dissolute personal life weren't included in the court hearing, the paper said.

PTI