4 June 2019
Feng Lizhi, 59, former deputy head of China’s national lottery system, China Welfare Lottery Distribution and Management Centre, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison and fined $140,000 for corruption and abuse of power, according to a court filing released Monday. He illegally took $847,000 worth of bribes, including gold bricks and property, during the period between 2010 to 2013, the filing said. He also served as chairman of Beijing Zhong Lottery Online Technology Co., the operator of the welfare lotteries.
Feng Lizhi (in picture), made a statement in November 2018 that “Systemic corruption has caused irreparable losses to the lottery system. It is almost a disaster.” He said that he and 13 of his colleagues, including two former directors and three former deputy directors, were under probe for corruption.
In 2014, National Audit Office said in a report that there were problems with $2.43 billion, or more than a quarter of the $9 billion yuan funds its officials had audited. The report prompted the anti-graft agencies to dig out evidence and eventually put all the 14 suspects under investigation.
Zhongcai Online Company is the exclusive operator of welfare lottery tickets. According to an article published in the Economic Reference Daily, this company has been quietly transformed from a nominally state-owned holding enterprise into a personal wealth empire controlled by senior executives.
He Mou, general manager of Zhongcai Online, said the one day in 2010, Feng Lizhi went to his office and said he wanted to buy a house in the South Fourth Ring Road and borrow money from him. He collected $210,000, packed it in a large suitcase and handed it to Feng Lizhi in his office. In 2011, in the parking lot of Holiday Inn Central, he handed Feng Lizhi’s wife a paper bag with two gold bars in front of Feng Lizhi. CXLive news reported.