China Olympian's lover jailed for life for $12.7m fraud: Media

China Olympian's lover jailed for life for $12.7m fraud: Media
China's gymnast Xiao Qin (4th L) celebrates with his teammates after winning gold in the men's team final at the Beijing 2008 Olympics on August 12, 2008.

BEIJING - The ex-girlfriend of a Chinese Olympic gymnastics champion has been sentenced to life in jail for defrauding other star athletes and celebrities of nearly US$10 million (S$12.68 million), state-run media said on Wednesday.

Wang Ti - whose then boyfriend Xiao Qin won pommel horse gold at the 2008 Beijing Games - cheated "more than two dozen well-known figures in the sports and entertainment industries", the China Daily reported.

Among the victims were gymnasts Yang Wei, who won the 2008 men's individual all-round title, and his wife Yang Yun, who won a bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

"Many victims trusted Xiao, considering his social influence, so they gave money to his girlfriend," a lawyer for several victims told the China Daily.

Wang pretended to be the daughter of various high-level officials, claiming that enabled her to buy properties and luxury cars at a reduced price, the paper said.

Altogether she obtained 58 million yuan (S$12.17 million) and HK$2 million (S$330,000), it added.

Wang plans to appeal her life sentence, which was handed down by a Beijing court in early December.

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