Former top Volkswagen China exec gets life in prison for accepting $42 million in bribes

A former top executive at Volkswagen China was sentenced to life in prison for accepting $42 million in bribes, state media reported.

Shi Tao, former deputy general manager of FAW-Volkswagen Sales Co, was convicted for taking 33 million yuan (H$42 million ) in bribes, the state-owned Shanghai Daily reported.

Shi helped advertisers and car dealers obtain business orders from FAW-Volkswagen in exchange for the bribes, the newspaper said.

According to reports, Shi accepted kickbacks from 48 companies from 2006 and amassed 26.7 million yuan in property.

China is undergoing a corruption crackdown and President Xi Jinping has vowed to fight graft. It is unclear as to whether investigations are ensuing against those companies who may have bribed Shi.

American companies doing business in China have been put on notice by the Government here, that proven bribery will be prosecuted here under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and that punishment in China may mean very long prison sentences there.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.