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Pretend policeman gets 5 years in prison

2014-02-25 10:30 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

A 25-year-old local man has been sentenced to five years in prison for trading in police equipment and scamming acquaintances by posing as an officer of the law, a district court said Monday.

The defendant, surnamed Liu, was charged with fraud for fabricating an identity as a police officer so he could demand money in exchange for favors, according to a press release from Pudong New Area People's Court. He was also charged with illegally trading police equipment.

The court said Liu learned there was power in being a pretend policeman when he won over a woman he once worked with at a local supermarket by making up a story that he got his job as a police officer by saving the life of an important official in the Ministry of Public Security.

After going out a few times together, Liu began to borrow money from the woman. He told her that he needed the money to find jobs for acquaintances or open police training schools, among other reasons, the court said.

For June 2012 to May 2013, Liu borrowed about 183,000 yuan ($30,013) from his girlfriend. At the same time, he was telling other people that he was a police officer who could "help solve problems," the court said.

When one of Liu's friends, surnamed Yuan, expressed his interest in becoming a police officer, Liu offered to get him a job in exchange for 60,000 yuan, the court said. Liu promised he would use some of the money to buy Yuan's uniforms and other equipment.

In another scam, Liu sold a rental car to a friend surnamed Shen for 40,000 yuan under the pretext that it was a retired police vehicle.

The ruse lasted until Shen tried to transfer the vehicle's title to his name and discovered it was untransferable, according to a court press officer. "The friend asked Liu to return the money and reported the incident to police," the press officer told the Global Times.

Liu gave Shen his money back shortly before he was arrested.

Police later discovered Liu had bought more than 150 pieces of police equipment, including uniforms, handcuffs and batons.

The court also fined Liu 53,000 yuan.

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