Former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., Ltd., Lai Xiaomin, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement and bribery charges.
Lai, who headed one of four asset management companies approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, was accused of taking advantage of his position and conveniences associated with it to gain illegitimate wealth. He was also accused of criminally liable misconduct including bigamy and accepting bribes between 2008 and 2018.
Lai accepted an estimated 1.79 billion yuan, or roughly $256 million, in cash and gifts, according to the indictment. Around 104 million yuan in promised bribes was never received.
Lai reportedly took advantage of his position to seize an estimated 25.13 million yuan in public funds. Lai was found to have fathered two illegitimate children, according to the indictment.
Lai pleaded guilty to all charges and expressed remorse. The Second Municipal Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin is expected to sentence Lai later.
His trial was public and attended by senior officials including legislators, government officials, political advisers, news media and members of the public.
China Huarong, established in 1999, handles the assets of several state-owned enterprises and other investments. These includes about 407 billion yuan in nonperforming loans from the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. China's Finance Ministry is the company's majority shareholder. Other shareholders include China Life Insurance Group, Citic Securities, COFCO Group, Fosun International, Malaysia sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs.
China Huarong listed in Hong Kong in 2015 after raising around HK$17.8 billion ($2.29 billion) in an initial public offering.