Banking Regulator Sentenced to Death with Reprieve for $70 Million Bribery Scandal

Zhenjiang, China – A former vice-chairman of China’s top banking regulatory body, Cai Esheng, has received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for accepting bribes of over 500 million yuan ($70.3 million) and abusing his power. The decision, made by the Zhenjiang Intermediate People’s Court in Jiangsu province, comes after a lengthy legal process for the 72-year-old Cai.

The court’s ruling revealed that Cai, who held the position from 2006 to 2021, used his influence to assist individuals and departments in securing financial support, loans, business contracts, job promotions, and other benefits, accumulating illicit gains totaling more than 400 million yuan. This misconduct also extended to facilitating equity transfers, financing, loans, and job adjustments for others while receiving bribes exceeding 110 million yuan.

Moreover, the court found that Cai’s actions as vice-chairman of the former China Banking Regulatory Commission resulted in significant losses to state assets and public interests between 2010 and 2013, leading to the severity of the ruling. Despite the gravity of the crimes, the court chose to grant a two-year reprieve, during which Cai will be closely monitored. If he refrains from further criminal activity during this period, his sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or a reduction in sentence.

Cai, who hails from Hubei province, had a prominent career in the financial sector and previously served as vice-chairman of the now-defunct China Banking Regulatory Commission. The legal scrutiny he faced began in 2021, ultimately leading to his expulsion from the Communist Party in January 2023 and formal prosecution in June of that year. The public hearing for his case concluded in July 2023.

In summary, Cai Esheng’s sentencing to death with a two-year reprieve for bribery and abuse of power reflects the severity of his actions during his tenure in the banking regulatory body. The court’s decision takes into account the substantial sums involved, the negative societal impact, and the significant losses incurred by the state and the public.