Chinese Model Poses as Bill Gates’ Ex-Wife, Swindles Over $1 Million From Businessman

Fresh Solutions for Food Security: William H. Gates III

Two models out of China have been sentenced to 13 and 11 years in prison for swindling $1.55 million from an unsuspecting local millionaire. One of them went so far as posing as the ex-wife of billionaire Bill Gates.

In October of 2012, 30-year-old Zhen Jiaxin, a model in Beijing and Shanghai, met businessman Zhan Li. During their conversation, Zhang mentioned he was recently divorced and looking to remarry someone from a prominent family.

According to a report by China.Org.CN, Zheng recruited her 31-year-old friend and fellow model Chen Xiaoyun as an accomplice. She introduced Chen to Zhan Li, saying Chen was a descendant of a top official’s family and had just divorced Bill Gates.

Zhang spent money on both models before realizing he was being conned in May, 2013, when he found out the women had tricked him into paying 546,700 yuan (about $88,00) for luxury dresses but had later returned the dresses and split the money between themselves.

After Zhang reported the girls to the authorities, they were arrested in June of 2013. Unfortunately, by that time, the girls had conned Zhang out of 9.34 million yuan (roughly $1.55 million) through the purchase of diamond rings, gold, dresses, bags, phones and watches.

Both women were initially sentenced to 13 years and fined one million yuan, but after an appeal, the court reduced the prison term for Chen to 11 years and her fine to 800,000 yuan.

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