Bank Hoax: Chinese Man Invents Takeover Story

Businessman Lin Chunping made headlines in China earlier this year. He spoke in the Chinese media of how he took over the Atlantic Bank in Delaware, which went bankrupt in 2008. But it turns out, the bank didn't even exist.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word business is about a bank takeover that was more of a fake over. Businessman Li Chunping made headlines in China earlier this year. He spoke in the Chinese media of how he took over an American bank - the Atlantic Bank of Delaware, which he said went bankrupt in 2008.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The story got him plenty of public praise. The communist party touted him as a model citizen, rising from poverty to be a successful businessman in the rice trade. He even got a position as a government adviser.

INSKEEP: And then the awkward truth intervened. It turns out the whole story of taking over that American bank was made up. The Atlantic Bank doesn't even exist. So Mr. Chunping's government position is gone. He is in jail as well for another financial fiction. He's charged with tax evasion and is now seen as less than a model citizen.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

WERTHEIMER: And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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