Why the world’s largest Chinese-owned company isn’t paying $2.7bn to settle fraud charges

Chinese trading company Jilin International has paid $2bn to resolve fraud charges that it laundered millions of dollars for state-owned companies, state media said.

In April, Jilong International, a unit of state-controlled conglomerate CITIC Group, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges related to $1.7 billion in fraudulent money transfers and was fined a record $5.2bn.

The latest fraud trial was triggered by allegations from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which said the company manipulated the prices of shares it bought in foreign companies.

Prosecutors had argued that Jilang had manipulated the market prices of its shares and sold them at artificially inflated prices.

They also alleged that the company laundered $1bn through its subsidiary in Taiwan, where it was based, and other companies.

A lawyer for Jilai said in a statement: “The case is about the illegal manipulation of market prices, and not about the alleged theft of assets.”

Jilin’s admission to the case was a major victory for US prosecutors, who said they would use the evidence to get warrants for the company’s assets and the arrest of key executives.

Jilong has previously admitted to wrongdoing in the past, including that of its Taiwanese subsidiary in 2012, when prosecutors accused it of selling $2m worth of shares to a Taiwanese company.