28 March 2018
Zhang Zhongsheng, former vice-mayor of the city of Luliang in the coal-rich province of Shanxi, was handed down a death sentence for taking more than $160 million in bribes. He earned the nick name of godfather because of his influence and power in the city of Luliang.

According to Xinhua the court noted while sentencing that Zhang had shown “extreme” greed in taking bribes. The court ordered confiscation of his personal assets.

The punishment is considered unusually harsh for economic crimes. It is meant to be a warning for other officials. Eventually the death sentence may be converted to a life imprisonment. Zhang can appeal his conviction.