A Chinese court has sentenced former hedge fund manager Xu Xiang to five-and-a-half years in prison for stock manipulation and insider trading, in a high-profile case linked to the mainland’s 2015 stock-market bubble and crash.
The Qingdao Intermediate People’s Court handed down the sentence on Monday to Xu, the billionaire founder of Zexi Investments, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The 40-year-old is said to have admitted to wrongdoing during a two-day trial in December.
The court said that Xu, who was convicted along with two other defendants, colluded with executives from 13 listed firms between 2010 and 2015 to drive up their share prices, before selling shares just as the companies made public price-sensitive information, according to the Journal.
Last month, the court said Xu had done much of his trading through accounts held by hundreds of his family members and associates.
The brief court statement on Monday described the size of Xu’s profits as “huge” and said the situation was extremely serious, without offering further details.
The sentencing is the latest chapter in the fall from grace of Xu, one of China’s most high-profile investors who had previously earned nicknames such as “Hedge Fund Brother No.1″, the Journal noted.
His downfall was among several that followed the market debacle in 2015. At the time, Beijing said it suspected widespread market manipulation.
Over several months, authorities ousted top officials from the country’s main market regulator and launched investigations against managers at top brokerage firms.
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