A 54-year-old Chinese woman has been convicted to jail for 20 years
who was once praised as a humanitarian for adopting 118 children.
At Wu’an Court in Hebei province on Wednesday, Li Yanxia was found guilty of extortion, fraud, forgery and disturbing social order.
Once nicknamed “Love Mother,” the former orphanage owner was also fined 2.6m yuan (£ 311,000; $388,000).
Fifteen accomplices were also sentenced, including her boyfriend.
The tribunal discovered that Li Yanxia had “abused the impact of the orphanage,” also known as Li Lijuan.
“[She] committed fraud with the gang, among other offenses, in order to gain considerable financial advantage,” the Wu’an City People’s Court reported on the Weibo micro-blogging site.
Her boyfriend Xu Qi was accused of disturbing social order, extortion, fraud, and deliberate injury. He received a 12.5-year prison sentence and a 1.2 m yuan fine.
Some of the other 14 accomplices were given up to four years ‘ imprisonment.
A village was opened by the “love mother”
Li shot to fame for the first time in 2006 after the press got wind of adopting dozens of kids in her home town of Wu’an, a tiny town in Hebei province.
She informed news outlets she was once married but divorced. She claimed that her ex-husband had sold her son for 7,000 yuan to a trafficker. She said she was able to get her son back-and it was when she decided to try to assist other kids.
She has accumulated considerable riches over the period of time, becoming one of Hebei’s wealthiest females. And she purchased an iron mining business in 1996,
“I often saw a girl of five or six running around the mine. Her dad died … her mom went away … so I took the girl to my house. She was the first kid I had adopted,” she informed the Yanzhao Metropolis Daily local newspaper at the time. She adopted dozens of other kids and ultimately opened an orphanage called “Love Village.”
In the press she often used to write about, including some records she had fought cancer and spent all her money.
In 2017, with 118 kids, the amount of kids under her care achieved its peak.
The government got tip-offs from members of the public that alerted them to suspect operations in that year.
Police found in May 2018 that she had over 20 million yuan and $20,000 in her bank accounts, and owned luxury vehicles such as Land Rovers and Mercedes Benz. They discovered that since 2011 she had been engaged in illegal operations.
She also manipulated some of her adopted kids to hamper construction site work-in one instance, making them run under trucks so that construction couldn’t proceed. Then Li blackmailed these architectural firms.
It was also discovered that the 54-year-old had earned cash on the pretext of constructing the “Love Village.”
Later in May, Li was put under criminal custody-when she was arrested, 74 kids were left in the village. They had been sent to other facilities of government and schools.
Her behavior had been condemned on social media in China, calling her a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
While talking to Weibo one commenter mention that his uncle used to be a donor at her orphanage.
Another commenter said that once he referred to her as mother love but after seeing her disgusting illegal activities, he now wants to take his words back.