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To finance his gaming addiction and alcoholism, a youth used fake gold bars purchased online to cheat goldsmiths.
Lei Feng Cheng 18, was charged with seven counts of cheating and has been sentenced to reformative training, following a failed appeal, reports Shin Min Daily News.
In four of the seven charges, he and his accomplices had successfully conned the victims, taking $16,800 in the process.
The court heard that Lei had been addicted to video games since he was 13 years old, and secretly used his mother’s credit card to finance his addiction in the past.
When he reached 17 years of age, he started coming home drunk at least twice every week.
Lei also started skipping school.
On September 22, 2016, Lei sold a phone on an online market platform for $780.
He had listed the phone as a new product.
He took an old phone worth $580, and $280 in cash from the buyer, but gave him an old phone instead.
Lei was subsequently charged for the cheating the buyer on December 9.
He did not earn from his mistake.
Lei and his accomplices later decided to purchase fake gold bullions from a Chinese website, which they then used to cheat goldsmiths between March 3 and March 28, 2017.
They were successful on four attempts.
Three of the attempts took place on March 28 itself.
Two attempts were successful, yielding $3,000 and $4,800 respectively.
On the day when Lei pleaded guilty to his first offence, he had handed two fake gold bars to his accomplices, who then attempted to cheat various goldsmiths two days later.
Their attempts proved unsuccessful.
The group was charged on April 8 and pleaded guilty on October 24.
Lei was sentenced to reformative training on January 9, 2018, but appealed his case.
The High Court judge rejected his appeal on Monday morning (May 21) on grounds that Lei needed reformative training, citing that Lei had committed a more serious offence after he was charged with the first.
Court documents revealed that an accomplice of Lei had handed money over to his other accomplice who then purchased bitcoins with the sum.
The bitcoins were used in turn used to buy 100 fake gold bars, each worth about $30 to $40.
The police recovered 45 of these bars after arresting the group.
According to official statements by the police on April 6 and April 8, 2017, the group was involved in a series of cheating cases.
The suspects were aged between 17 and 25.
Lei, the youngest in the group, was 17 years old then.
His two accomplices were arrested on April 5, 2017, after a failed attempt at cheating a goldsmith on March 30.
The police identified the pair via closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage and promptly made the arrest.