Sichuan Hanlong Group insider trader jailed in Australia

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian court has sentenced a Chinese former executive to more than eight years in prison for insider trading in 2011 when his privately-owned energy conglomerate Sichuan Hanlong Group subsidiary was preparing takeover bids for two Australian mining companies.

Hui Xiao, also known as Steven Xiao and Jiayi Xiao, had pleaded guilty in the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney in September to 102 illegal trades of shares in Sundance Resources and Bannerman Resources.

Xiao was subsidiary Hanlong Mining's managing director and the company's most senior executive in Australia. He was sentenced on Friday to eight years and three months in prison and must serve five years and six months in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Xiao fled Australia for China in November 2011. He was arrested in Hong Kong in January 2014 and extradited to Australia in October 2014.

His former boss Liu Han, chairman of the parent company Sichuan Hanlong Group, was executed in the Chinese southwestern province of Sichuan last year for mafia-style crimes.

Hanlong Mining's bid for uranium miner Bannerman Resources failed.

In 2013, Hanlong Mining ran into problems financing a takeover of African iron ore hopeful Sundance Resources and terminated the deal.

Xiao made a windfall profit of about $1.5 million when shares in both takeover targets soared in value after Hanlong Mining's bids were made public.

Hanlong Mining former vice president Bo Shi Zhu was sentenced in the same Sydney court in 2013 to two years and three months in prison for insider trading.