Fugitive who thrived on the run goes on trial

Updated: 2012-05-30 08:11

By Wang Zhenghua in Shanghai (China Daily)

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A fugitive of Zhejiang province who became an award-winning official at a local Party school in Jiangsu province while on the run stood trial on Monday.

Shi Baoyue, 50, former deputy headmaster of the Party School of Zhangjiagang - a post that requires much political accomplishment - was put on trial at a local court in Jinhua, Zhejiang.

Shi, a native of Pan'an in Zhejiang who won dozens of honors and awards under a false identity, is accused of writing large-sum false value-added tax invoices 13 years ago.

He was caught in September during an online campaign to find fugitives. The Wucheng district court of Jinhua has yet to make a ruling in the case.

"We don't have much to do with Shi's appointment, and he did not stay long (in the position of deputy headmaster)," a female office director of the Party school who declined to provide her name told China Daily on Tuesday.

The official said that Shi had passed political examinations and was transferred to the Party school by the upper-level personnel department, about which the school had no say. On Monday, the court heard that Shi had forged his age, birthplace and education degrees.

Apart from his job at the Party school, Shi also worked at a number of media outlets across the country under the fake name of Gao Shanqing.

Shi, a former civil servant in Pan'an with a college degree, ventured into business in the early 1990s.

Between 1994 and 1995, he opened four companies in Zhejiang's Jinhua and Pan'an, writing a total of 32 false value-added tax invoices with a combined face value of 19.08 million yuan ($3 million) and collected 2 to 2.5 percent favor fees from each deal.

In November 1994, Shi also bought 24 false value-added tax invoices from a company in Jiangxi province, with a face value of 8.43 million yuan.

After being discovered during a crackdown that involved 218 businesses in Jinhua and resulted in death sentences for two major criminals, Shi escaped to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, where he spent 10,000 yuan to forge an ID card, household book, diplomas from Fudan University and Sun Yat-sen University, as well as other credentials to start a new life.

Due to his work experience as a journalist, Shi sought jobs at a number of media outlets when he traveled in different provinces to escape the law. Shi told the court about an episode in which he was nearly discovered.

In June 2008, he sought a job at Zhangjiagang Daily. Facing pressure from the newspaper to submit his degree certificate for file collection purposes, Shi spent 120 yuan to hire an online company in Shenzhen to forge a certificate.

After receiving it, Shi compared the fake credential with an authentic one from Fudan University and asked the company to redo it after discovering that an important seal was stamped in the wrong place.

Shi still did not feel relieved with the new fake certificate because it looked too new to be authentic. So he instead submitted a duplicate copy to the personnel department and handed over the fake copy four months later.

In April 2010, Shi was transferred to the Party school to assume the post of deputy headmaster, and he wrote a number of articles on the importance of building a learning Party organization.

Shi told the court that to redeem himself for his past he has provided financial assistance to 28 poor students during the last 13 years, and he asked a friend to take care of five children who lost their home in Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.

Contact the writer at wangzhenghua@chinadaily.com.cn