14 April 2009

Fridge magnate stuck in jail

GU CHUJUN, the man responsible for introducing Greencool refrigerants to the UK back in the 1990s, has had his appeal against a 12-year sentence for embezzlement rejected.
The Guangdong Province Higher People's Court has upheld the 12-year sentence and $994,900 fine imposed last year for embezzling $43.5m, failing to disclose required information and filing a false financial report.

In what was described at the time as 'the biggest corruption case since the founding of communist China', Mr Gu was found guilty of falsely registering the capital of Greencool Enterprise Development Company, which he set up in 2001; publishing falsified financial reports for the listed Kelon; and embezzling with others $43.5m from Kelon and two other companies.

Mr Gu founded Greencool in the early 1990s and acquired Kelon­ at that time China's biggest refrigerator manufacturer ­ in late 2001. He was detained at the end of July 2005.

Mr Gu was responsible for setting up Gu Thermo Technology in the UK in the early 90s and introducing Greencool drop-in refrigerants, a range of substitutes for CFCs and HCFCs claiming to offer improved energy efficiencies.

Gu has been in a detention house for two years, so he will spend the next 10 years in prison, officials told the Shanghai Daily.
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