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Joseph Lau convicted for Macau bribery, money laundering

Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau Luen-hung, chairman and CEO of Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd., was convicted of bribery and money-laundering in Macau on Friday.

Lau was sentenced to five years and three months in prison by Macau’s Court of First Instance. He has appealed the decision.

Lau informed Chinese Estates Holdings of the court's decision and tendered his resignation. The company publicly announced the developments on its website Friday.

Forbes estimates Lau's net worth at $5.8 billion. He was identified as among the first purchasers of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet for private use. He paid $39 million for Paul Gauguin's Te Poipoi and $9.5 million for a 7.03-carat blue diamond, which he renamed Star of Josephine after youngest daughter, Forbes said.

Prosecutors accused Lau of paying bribes to Ao Man-long, Macau's former secretary of transportation and public works, to smooth the sale of five plots of highly valuable land.

Ao was sentenced to 29 years in prison in May 2012 in a corruption trial in which Lau was first named.

Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.