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U.S. fines 6 companies linked to Chinese metals tycoon $1.8bn

Court found conspiracy to inflate sales of Hong Kong-listed Zhongwang

China Zhongwang controlling shareholder Liu Zhongtian at company headquarters in Liaoyang, China in 2009.   © AP

HONG KONG -- Six companies linked to Chinese metals tycoon Liu Zhongtian have been fined $1.83 billion by a U.S. federal judge in Los Angeles in relation to a conspiracy to evade customs duties and inflate the revenues of Hong Kong-listed China Zhongwang Holdings.

A jury found the six California-based companies guilty last August after a nine-day trial of 17 counts of conspiracy and fraud, with two also convicted on seven counts of international money laundering.

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