(Text by Reporter Huang Jingjing) A few days ago, the People’s Court of Jing’an District handled a fraud case. The defendant surnamed Zhu utilized the anxiety of parents in a WeChat group of parents to falsely claim that she had “social connections” making it possible to let their children enter a primary school in Shanghai, and successfully got money from multiple migrant workers in Shanghai by cheating, which made people feel pity.
In May 2015, Mrs. Yao, Mrs. Zhao and Mrs. Wan, migrant workers working in Jing’an District, were all facing a shared issue—their children were to graduate from kindergartens and enter primary schools. Since they didn’t have Shanghai residence permits, their children may have to return to their ancestral homes to attend school. In order to let their children study in Shanghai Hengfeng Primary School, the three mothers sought for solutions everywhere and inquired lots of people in different fields.
When they were busy finding solutions, a message in the WeChat group of parents attracted their attention. A parent claimed that he had a friend surnamed Zhu, who was the boss of a company, and who was able to help resolve the enrollment problem of the children. As the person was a member of the same WeChat group and a parent with a child, the mothers thought that the information should be reliable, and therefore contacted Zhu.
Zhu claimed that she was a boss who could help Mrs. Yao and other mothers get the admission to Shanghai Hengfeng Primary School, and ensured that their children would enter the school in September on time, but she needed relevant expenses to grease the wheels. Taking this as an excuse, Zhu charged Mrs. Zhao RMB 20 thousand (since she had two children), and charged Mrs. Yao and Mrs. Wan RMB 10 thousand separately. Then, she returned RMB 500 to Mrs. Yao, so she received a total of RMB 39,500. She also asked for another RMB 20 thousand from the mothers after her work was done successfully. But actually, Zhu didn’t have the so-called “social connections”; she just aimed to obtain money by fraud for personal expense.
September came soon, but Mrs. Yao and other mothers didn’t get the admission letters for their children. Noticing that something was wrong, Mrs. Yao and other victims realized that they were deceived. Therefore, they demanded Zhu to pay back the money. But for three years, Zhu kept finding excuses and refusing to pay the money back. Resignedly, the three mothers including Mrs. Yao reported the case to Shanghai Public Security Bureau Jing’an District Branch this April, and then Zhu was arrested.
After trial, the People’s Court of Jing’an District thought that aiming for illegal possession, defendant Zhu created fictional stories to cheat others for money, and the amount she got was relatively large, so she should be pursued for criminal liability for fraud. In the end, the People’s Court of Jing’an District sentenced Zhu to a fixed-term imprisonment of one and a half years for fraud, a fine of RMB 4,000, and demanded her to repay the money of RMB 39,500 to the aggrieved party.
The judge reminded the parents that nowadays, the enrollment policy and process were very transparent, and most of the so-called “social connections” were dishonest practices. Therefore, the parents shall not believe in the so-called “acquaintances” or “relations”, but should be familiar with relevant education and enrollment policies, and get admission letters legally. The parents shall definitely guard against such scams to avoid being deceived.