Health product boss in China jailed for pyramid sales scheme, China News
Shu Yuhui, chairman and founder of Tianjin-based health products manufacturer Quanjian Nature Medicine Technology Development, was sentenced to nine years in prison on Wednesday for organising and leading pyramid sales activities.
Shu was also fined 50 million yuan (S$9 million), Wuqing District People’s Court in Tianjin said in its ruling.
Eleven other defendants involved in the scheme were convicted of the same charge and given sentences ranging from three to six years in prison, the ruling said.
The company was fined 100 million yuan, and all illicit money gained by it and the defendants was confiscated and ordered to be turned over to the national treasury, it added.
All the defendants pleaded guilty, the court said.
Since 2007, the company had lured people to buy its products at very high prices, and then ordered them to recruit more members in exchange for rewards from the company, the ruling said.
Shu played the leading role in the pyramid sales activity, “but given that he turned himself in, confessed to the crime and parts of the corporation’s illicit gains have been confiscated, we made the ruling above”, the court explained in a statement.
Quanjian found itself at the centre of a scandal in December 2018 when an online platform for sharing healthcare information, Dingxiang Doctor, recounted the story of Zhou Yang, a 4-year-old girl with cancer who died in 2015 after taking herbal products from Quanjian that were advertised as cancer cures.