Chinese farmer pretended to be princess to commit fraud

A farmer who pretended to be a princess descended from the Qing dynasty to swindle people out of more than 2 million yuan ($315,000) has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison for fraud, a court said.

Wang Fengying and her co-accused Yang Janglin said she was called Princess Changping and persuaded people to lend them money to help them get back assets worth billions of dollars held by authorities, the Lianhu District Court in Shaanxi province said.

They promised high returns on the investments and the fraud lasted two years until a victim went to the police, the court said in a statement Tuesday. In the meantime, Wang had bought a sedan car and put a down payment on an apartment.

Police seized 41 gold bars, thousands of fake dollars and treasure maps that Wang offered to investors as collateral.

Co-defendant Yang was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment and both were fined 500,000 yuan ($80,000) in court Monday.