Chinese actress Fan Bingbing who was feared disappeared by the Chinese Government has been fined for tax evasion, state media reported Wednesday This is the first public pronouncement about the star since she mysteriously disappeared from public view in June.
According to state-run news agency Xinhua, Fan has been ordered to pay almost $130 million, after she misreported how much money she had received for certain film projects, using so-called ‘yin-yang contracts’ to conceal from the authorities her true remuneration and avoid millions of dollars in taxes.
The government said criminal charges would not be filed against her if she pays all the money by an undisclosed deadline, Xinhua reported. The will avoid jail time as a first time offender.
‘As a public figure, I should have abided by laws and regulations, and been a role model in the industry and society,’ she said. ‘I shouldn’t have lost self-restraint or become lax in managing (my companies), which led to the violation of laws, in the name of economic interests.’
Fan admitted to signing the contracts and said she ‘completely accepts’ the decision by tax authorities.
‘Without the favorable policies of the Communist Party and state, without the love of the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing,’ she added.
‘Yin-yang contracts’ are considered a form of tax evasion where the first, smaller contract is reported to authorities while the second, larger one is treated as tax-free income.
According to Xinhua, the investigation of Fan was sparked by her reporting of income from ‘Air Strike,’ an upcoming Chinese film starring Liu Ye and Bruce Willis about the Japanese bombings of Chongqing during World War II.
Her case is a strong warning and statement of intent from authorities who have now extended the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ongoing anti-corruption crackdown on to the entertainment industry that formerly eluded it.