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China ‘House Sister’ Banker Gets 3 Years for Forged IDs

A former banker who used forged identification cards and documents to purchase several Beijing apartments was sentenced to three years in prison, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The People’s Court of Jingbian County in China’s northwestern Shaanxi province ruled that Gong Aiai, dubbed “House Sister” by Chinese netizens, illegally bought Beijing residence permits to buy the properties, Xinhua reported yesterday, citing the court.

Gong, former deputy head of the Shenmu County Rural Commercial Bank in Shaanxi, was found to have four residence permits and 44 Beijing properties valued at about 395 million yuan ($64 million), according to the Xinhua report. Police found no evidence that Gong illegally obtained the money to purchase the real estate.

China’s government started efforts to curb property prices in April 2010. It has raised down-payment and mortgage requirements and enacted purchase restrictions in about 40 cities, including capping the number of homes people can own and requiring new residents of a city to wait a year or more before buying.

Beijing banned single-person households from buying more than one residence, according to a March posting on the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development’s website.

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