China Executes Fraudulent Ant-Breeder

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In another reminder not to do anything at all wrong in China, state media reported last week that a businessman who had been convicted of fraud in connection with a "bogus ant-breeding scheme" had been executed.

The Xinhua News Agency said that Wang Zhendong was convicted and sentenced to death last year for a scheme in which he promised high returns to investors who bought his ant-breeding kits at an enormous markup.  It appears that ants are used in some traditional medicines in China, which is why some were willing to pay up to $1,300 to get a kit to breed their own.

More than 10,000 people allegedly invested in the scheme (either buying the kits or investing in Wang's companies — it wasn't clear) before investigators shut the companies down.  The government claimed the fraud totaled $416 million.  That's a lot, although it's no Enron, and  executing him would seem to make it difficult for him to pay any of that money back.

The report added the unnecessary comment that "The death penalty is used broadly in China."