A total of 306 cases of economic crimes involving China's entrepreneurs or top company executives were exposed by the media in China in 2012, up 51 percent from 2011, according to a report released by an economic crime lawyer Thursday.
Economic crimes concerning private entrepreneurs grew by nearly 80 percent over the past year to 199 cases in 2012, and the average value of these cases exceeded 1.5 billion yuan ($241.05 million), according to the report.
The crimes involving private entrepreneurs mainly fell into the categories of illegal fundraising, financial fraud or involvement in pyramid selling schemes.
"A surge in economic crimes by private entrepreneurs reflects that China's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were experiencing tough times amid the economic crisis in 2012, especially in terms of finance," Wang Rongli, lead author of the report and a researcher at the Northwest University of Politics and Law, told the Global Times.
It is the fourth year that Wang has compiled a report on China's economic crimes. Wang said it is mainly based on information from the media and online sources of public information.
Wang further noted that economic crimes by private companies usually involve many people, so the value of these cases is higher than in cases involving State-owned companies, which usually revolve around just a few top executives.
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