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February 7, 2013
BEIJING — As a bank officer from a poor region in rural China, Gong Ai'ai is an unlikely property baron. In a country where middle class workers can struggle to afford a single apartment in major cities, Gong is accused of amassing a real estate empire worth at least $160 million. Her alleged secret: corruption, kick-backs and multiple fake identities.
The stunning wealth she is accused of amassing — 45 properties in three cities — and the audacity with which she is accused of doing it has touched a nerve with a Chinese public long numb to tales of rampant corruption among the nation's official bureaucracy.
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