Forty-one people in Shanghai's first and high-profile P2P fraud case involving nearly 700 million yuan ($10.2 million) have been jailed, according to Yangpu District prosecutors.
P2P, or peer to peer, is a platform enabling individuals to borrow and lend money to each other without involving a financial institution.
The 41 were staff members from five outlets of Baiyin Wealth Co, including one in downtown Xintiandi area. Sentences ranged from six to eight months in prison, with some granted a reprieve.
Other suspects are either being investigated or are waiting to be tried.
One of them, Miao Youchun, a Baiyin P2P controller, has been accused of illegal fund-raising. The date of his trial has yet to be decided.
The fraud came to light after police received a report on January 29, 2015, from the company's legal representative who claimed Miao and Lai Changfeng, another major suspect, had absconded with large amounts of money. Miao and Lai were found to have used Baiyin's name to open outlets across the city since December 2012 and establish the P2P lending platform Redaiwang.com.
The investment projects listed on Redaiwang didn't exist, prosecutors said.
By promising high returns of up to 15 percent, the two cheated 700 million yuan from more than 3,700 investors, prosecutors added.
Miao was caught in the Philippines last year, while Lai has been tracked down in Canada and authorities are seeking to extradite him.