Former orphanage owner fined and sentenced 20 years in prison


Li Yanxia, former owner of an orphanage who had racketeered in the disguise of a philanthropist, got her sentence on Wednesday for a slew of gang-related crimes, the Beijing News reported on Wednesday.

Li, 54, also known as Li Lijuan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and fined 2.67 million yuan ($387,900). Love Village, an orphanage in Wu'an city, North China's Hebei Province, has been taken over by another childcare facility.

According to a post released on Wednesday on the Sina Weibo account of Wu'an City People's Court, Li was also charged with extortion and fraud.

The gang of 16, including Li and her boyfriend Xu Qi, were charged at a public sentencing. 

Xu received 12 and a half years in prison, and was fined 1.2 million yuan for charges of disturbing social order, extortion, fraud and intentional injury.

The other 14 members were sentenced to imprisonments ranging from one year and two months to four years; some of the defendants were fined, the Weibo post said. 

The court found that Li had, abused the orphanage's influence and committed fraud together with the gang, among other crimes, to obtain vast economic benefit.

As of press time, there were more than 9.42 million views of the hashtag "Loving mother Li Lijuan sentenced to 20 years in prison", initiated by news site ChinaNews.com. 

Many "liked" the report announcing the sentence, while others felt the punishment was not severe enough.

A Weibo user named Chen Xuanyu, said that "No length of time is too long for her to be in prison as she took advantage of others' sympathy," referring to her self-portrayal as a loving mother to more than 100 orphans.

Source: http://www.globaltimes.cn

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