Posted on: 01/08/2015

Honey Trap: Chinese model prisoned for swindlling

Two Chinese models have been sentenced to 13 and 11 years in jail for cheating a local millionaire of USD 1.55 million in a honey trap in which one of them posed as an ex-wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. 30-year-old Zheng Jiaxin, a budding model in Beijing and Shanghai, had met businessman Zhang Li in October 2012 and during their contact she learned that he had recently divorced but was keen to marry again someone from a prominent family. Zheng roped in her 31-year-old friend Chen Xiaoyun and introduced her to Zhang, falsely claiming that she hailed from a top official"s family and had just divorced Gates, state-run news website China.Org.Cn reported. Zhang spent a huge amount of money on the two models. The businessman realised that he was being cheated in May 2013, when the two women cajoled him into paying 546,700 yuan for fashionable dresses for them, but later returned the merchandise and shared the money. Zhang reported the fraud to local police and the two women were arrested in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province in June 2013. By that time, Zhang had already been cheated of more than 9.34 million yuan (USD 1.55 million) on watches, mobile phones, diamond rings, jewellery, gold, dresses and bags. Sanming Municipal Intermediate People"s Court found the two women guilty of fraud and sentenced them to 13 years in prison and fined one million yuan last year. However, the Fujian Provincial Higher People"s Court, which heard their appeal recently, upheld the original sentence to Zheng but reduced prison term for Chen to 11 years with fine of 800,000 yuan.