China’s ‘Bernie Madoff’ Secretly Executed, Ignites Outrage

The man some call China’s Bernie Madoff, Zeng Chengjie, was recently put to death after being found guilty of fraud on a massive scale. But no one, not even his family, was notified about the execution until after it was carried out.

Despite being a nation that uses and in general, supports capitol punishment, the circumstances of Zeng’s execution have gotten many up in arms, say sources at International Business Times.

This includes Zeng’s daughter, Zeng Shen, who was not even notified that her father was cremated until after it had already been done. She maintains that Zeng was convicted under suspicious circumstances and that the secrecy involved in his execution have only made things look worse.

Found guilty of being one of the worst white collar criminals in Chinese history, Zeng was sentenced to death. Charged as guilty on counts of illegal fundraising and fraud, Zeng shook down investors for nearly $460 million US, reports The Atlantic, earning him the reputation as China’s Bernie Madoff.

Zeng’s daughter has taken to social media to protest her father’s trial and secret execution. She argues that Zeng, known for his work in land development, was a victim of Party politics.

After pulling himself out of deep poverty, Zeng built a fortune getting investors to fund projects to build public facilities and key landmarks in Jishou, Hunan. But with policy changes in 2009, many of the investors, who were Party members, pulled out their investments quickly.

This lead to confusion and panic among the remaining investors, as Zeng was unable to finish his projects. Soon after, he was imprisoned and found guilty for defrauding millions.

Though China has a record of executing offenders for a variety of crimes, execution for non-violent white collar criminals has inspired a great deal of controversy. The execution of China’s Bernie Madoff, as Zeng is nicknamed, has reignited anti-capitol punishment outrage in the nation and abroad.

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