Ex-chief of Chinese insurer Anbang jailed for 18 years

The former chief of a major Chinese financial firm that owns businesses around the world has been jailed for 18 years, according to state media.

A court in Shanghai on Thursday handed down the sentence to Wu Xiaohui, the former chairman of insurance company Anbang, after he was convicted of fraud and embezzlement, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported. Wu will also have $1.6 billion of his property confiscated, according to the report.

Anbang is best known for its ambitious deal-making efforts overseas, including the $1.95 billion purchase of New York’s Waldorf Astoria, a failed $14 billion bid for the Starwood hotel chain, and unsuccessful talks with the Kushner family business over a Manhattan office tower.

In February, China’s insurance regulator announced it was seizing control of Anbang’s operations for one year. At the same time, authorities said Wu would face prosecution.

Wu built Anbang up from a provincial car insurance business into a global financial conglomerate.

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