Guangzhou R&F co-founder wanted in US for ‘bribery’, London trial According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Guangzhou-based real estate developer R&F Properties is pictured at a strategic partnership signing ceremony in Beijing, China July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

By Sam Tobin

LONDON (Reuters) – The billionaire co-founder of Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd is wanted in the United States for allegedly returning fruit to get a permit for a construction project in San Francisco, a London court has heard. trial on Monday.

Zhang Li, the chief executive officer of Hong Kong-listed R&F developer, is wanted under a temporary order issued in the Northern District of California, accusing him of participating in a scheme to bribe officials. public from 2015 to 2020.

Ben Lloyd, representing US prosecutors, said the scheme involved paying bribes to San Francisco officials for the benefit of R&F’s domestic arm, Z&L Properties Inc.

R&F did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zhang did not appear on Monday at London’s Westminster Magistrates Court, where his lawyers asked a judge to allow him to be released on bail ahead of the legal battle against extradition to the United States.

The 69-year-old – who is worth $2.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine – has offered to pay a £15 million ($18.4 million) security deposit.

Mark Summers, representing Zhang, said R&F would provide £10 million in security. He added: “Can’t go higher because of the listing rules [of] Hong Kong Stock Exchange.”

Summers said Zhang would provide the remaining £5m.

Judge John Zani granted bail and imposed a 24-hour curfew on Zhang. The judge also said Zhang had to be handcuffed with a member of the court-appointed private security team when he left the house for the purpose of attending the trial.

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