A former supporter of the Bitcoin mining industry and official in several of China’s regional government positions was sentenced by a court in the Zhenjiang Province. Xiao Yi was found guilty of abusing power and accepting over $20 million in bribes while serving as a public agent.
Crypto reporter Colin Wu shared the news via social media X, highlighting Yi’s activities as a Bitcoin mining supporter via a company called Jiumu Group Genesis Technology in China. The country is widely regarded as a hostile ground for crypto miners and cryptocurrencies following a national ban on this and other related activities, including crypto trading.
From Crypto To Convict, Did This Ex-Bitcoin Mining Supporter Broker The Law?
A local report noted that the investigation uncovered Yi’s illegal activities dating from 2008 to 2021. During this period, the former government official used his position and connections to enrich himself to the detriment of the “interest of the country,” which caused the people of China “significant losses.”
Yi committed the offenses in the period mentioned above while serving as secretary of the Fuzhou City Committee in the Jiangxi Province, Vice Chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee, and Director of this region’s People’s Government Office in Beijing.
The former Bitcoin supporter took bribes to help others escalate government ranks, take public projects, and more. Eventually, Yi confessed to the allegations, surrendered a portion of his assets, and pleaded guilty.
Thus, the former government official was found guilty of committing abuse of power and sentenced to six years in prison. However, the report notes that Yi’s crimes were particularly severe, as stated above. Thus, his sentence was extended to life in prison and the removal and a prohibition to occupy government positions.
Yi Pulls A Con On China?
In an earlier coverage, Wu noted that Yi was arrested with Jiumu executives for conspiring to prop up its regional activities. The company allegedly stole over 500,000 BTC mining hardware and GPUs; all the illegal activities took place with Yi’s consent and protection.
Yi and Lin Qingxing worked together to benefit Jiumu to the detriment of others and lied about the company’s activities, disguising them as “big data” related. A local state media report revealed the following regarding Yi and Qingxing activities and their impact on the region:
(…) Lin Qingxing’s company had about 160,000 “mining machines” running every day while this company’s electricity consumption accounted for 10% of Fuzhou’s total electricity consumption. In order to cover up the real situation, Xiao Yi instructed relevant departments to fabricate statistical reports and adjust the classification of electricity consumption. He also illegally demanded financial subsidies for the company and pushed government agencies to provide the company with guarantees, loans and other financing support (…).
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview