Online infatuation leads to embezzlement: Chinese man’s web of trouble

Photo: Sanook

A Chinese man’s infatuation with an Internet idol escalated to the point where he resorted to online embezzlement from his workplace to bestow lavish gifts upon the captivating young woman, ultimately ending up in prison.

As reported by Chinese media, Liu, a university graduate and married father, was employed as an accountant at a company, earning a monthly salary of 6,000 yuan (30,000 baht). His curiosity led him to download a chat application where he stumbled upon a livestream featuring an enchanting Internet idol.

Her beauty and charm impressed him so much that he started donating 200 to 300 yuan (about 1,000 to 1,500 baht). Hearing her thank him for his gifts reminded him of when he first met his wife. However, he was unaware that this was the beginning of his downfall.

Liu found himself addictively watching her livestreams. Whenever he took a break from work, he tried to watch her. He hoped to meet her in person one day. However, to have a chance of dating the beauty, he needed to become the “number 1 brother” or the top donor on the platform. Hearing the girl chat and laugh with the current number 1 brother made him jealous and deepened his feelings for her.

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As the company’s accountant, Liu was highly trusted by his boss. He was a war veteran and managed the finances of the subsidiary companies. However, to compete for the top donor’s position, he began embezzling company funds.

Initially, he stole 20,000 yuan (about 100,000 baht), intending to repay it later. But seeing others donating aggressively during livestreams, he embezzled more and more, like a man possessed, until the amount skyrocketed.

Lavish gifts

Eventually, Liu’s desire became a reality. He became one of the top donors and even flew to the northeast of China to meet the girl in person. During their lavish date, he rented a luxury car, took her to high-end restaurants, and bought her branded goods. Their relationship seemed to be progressing smoothly.

In reality, not only was Liu flaunting his wealth by generously paying the girl of his dreams, but he also paid for other girls’ livestreams, allowing him to meet them as well. This reckless spending raised questions among some people, wondering if all the money wasn’t his. Even the girl he was smitten with started suspecting him of illegal activities.

By early last year, the company discovered a large amount of money was missing from the accounts managed by Liu. Realising he couldn’t escape, Liu turned himself into the police.

Investigations by the public security agency revealed that Liu had embezzled 120,000,000 yuan from the company and gave 90,000,000 yuan to the girl he adored. The rest was given to other girls, with a small portion spent on himself.

In September last year, the prosecutor filed a lawsuit against Liu for online embezzlement, and the court ordered him to repay the money.

In May of this year, Liu was sentenced to an additional 14 years in prison and fined 500,000 yuan (2.5 million baht), reported Sanook.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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