Chapter 345: A Huge Blow
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
This legal personality Denial System Regulation was not exactly simple to execute.
They would have to go through many complicated legal proceedings before being able to confirm that the shareholder was the one who had used the LLC to commit illegal activities, and that the LLC itself was not under the direction of incompetent management.
This regulation was hardly used in real life situations, as it usually wasn’t worth the time invested. Therefore, it was normal that many lawyers neglected this. In Jin Dazhuang’s 20 years of practice, he had barely won once. However, both parties had utilized too many resources and energy that they decided to let it go eventually.
Jin Dazhuang was now shocked though. His face was stormy and he replied, “Sure. Just prove that my client had the intention to use Industries LLC to commit illegal activities before bringing it to court! I’d like to see just exactly how the judge will receive this!”
Zhang Baochen quickly spoke up. “I did nothing of the sort. I can swear to that! I didn’t even know which industry Dacheng Industries would go to. How could I have been guiding them in their operations?”
“You hear that?” Jin Dazhuang laughed wryly. “Don’t think that you can pretend to be a know-it-all just because you memorized some regulations by heart. Take it to court if you have the guts to!”
Gu Nianzhi smiled as she took out a pile of approved materials and documents, and placed them in front of Jin Dazhuang.
“Please have a look, Lawyer Jin; these are the materials provided by Dacheng Industries LLC for their plans regarding their project with the army.” She brought out some more documents. “And these are the agreements they’ve signed which state the materials they’ve used and how it made the army incur great losses during training.”
“These are the investigative documents provided by the third party independent professionals, showing that Dacheng Industries LLC intentionally provided the army with low-grade materials instead of the previously approved ones in the contracts, and that they profited illegally from the business dealings with the army. These backhanded deals were the reason for the injuries to the soldiers during the recent training sessions and the cause of potential threats to the entire country.”
Jin Dazhuang’s face turned as white as a sheet. He took the documents from Gu Nianzhi and read through them quickly, trying to make sense of the entire problem.
“Well, these alone are not enough to accuse my client of engaging in illegal acts.” Jin Dazhuang knew he was playing the fool, but he was desperate. “Replacing high-grade materials with low-grade ones is too vague an accusation. If we were to bring this to court, they would certainly not sentence my client as guilty of the charge.”
“Oh, is that so?” Gu Nianzhi smiled and took out the materials provided by Huo Shaoheng.
“What about these?” Gu Nianzhi handed them to Jin Dazhuang.”The shareholders of Dacheng Industries LLC, Zhao Da, Zhang Feng, and Zhang Baochen had been using different methods to transfer the profits to their personal accounts for the past two years. They have also set up shell corporations in Italy, in preparation of laundering the money they have transferred through those businesses.”
Jin Dazhuang collapsed in his chair and heaved a long sigh. His head spun as he thought:
Based on the previous evidence, I still had about 70% confidence that I could fight for Zhang Baochen in court and win. However, these final pieces of evidence are too strong. It might impossible to fight after all.
He realized that if they were to bring the matter to court, the moment the judge saw the evidence of them preparing to launder money, they would definitely convict the shareholders of using the Dacheng Industrials LLC account for their corrupt practices.
Once they were declared guilty, they would definitely be announced bankrupt in order to pay the company. They would have jail terms to serve as well.
Jin Dazhuang gulped a few times. Then, looking at Gu Nianzhi helplessly, he croaked out, “What if we choose to settle this amicably?”
“Simple, just sign this.” Gu Nianzhi handed the Assets Investigation form to Jin Dazhuang again, grinning from ear to ear. “Put all the real estate properties on auction and return all the savings in his bank accounts to the army. Only after that, I will plead with the army on your client’s behalf to not bring charges against him.”
Jin Dazhuang nodded gravely. “Okay. I agree.”
Zhang Baochen jumped up from his seat, pointed at Jin Dazhuang, and began raging at him. “Are you mad?! You’re my lawyer for god’s sake! Why did you agree to everything she said? All these assets are mine! MINE! Why should I pay for that d*mn company?! I didn’t even know what they got into in the first place!”
Gu Nianzhi lowered her head and dug around her documents. She found a duplicate document with Zhang Baochen’s signature and pushed it over to him.
“Mr. Zhang, please look at the document. Your signature is on it. There’s your thumbprint too.”
“What d*mn document?” Zhang Baochen took the document and opened it. He jumped up from his seat once again and yelled: “Th-Thi-This…I don’t remember signing something like this!”
The document that he had signed was a letter of authorization. It stated the authorization of Dacheng Industries LLC to open a branch office in Italy. The only motive for opening a nameless branch office in Italy would have been to avoid all investigations and audits in the country and to approve the transferring of most of the assets from the two families overseas to launder.
“It’s okay if you don’t remember. The only thing you must confirm is whether or not the signature and thumbprint on the document is yours, ” Gu Nianzhi said casually. “The law only recognizes evidence. However, you seem to think that it isn’t very relevant to the case.”
Zhang Baochen began to tremble. The corners of his mouth twitched continuously. He actually remembered now—his wife was the one who had brought him the document. At the time, she’d said it was regarding Dacheng Industries, so he signed…but!
He hadn’t expected it to be a trap!
Throwing the document onto the ground with a furious smack, Zhang Baochen said angrily, “My wife asked me to sign this! I really don’t know what went on at all! How can you push the blame on me just like that?!”
“Mr. Zhang, you are a grown adult. You have to be responsible for your actions. Do you think you don’t have to bear any responsibilities just because you said you don’t know what was going on? Must the army take responsibility for your stupidity then?” It took Gu Nianzhi so much effort to not roll her eyes at him.
“Lawyer Jin, do you understand now?” Gu Nianzhi chose to communicate with Jin Dazhuang instead. “By saying that Dacheng Industries ‘accumulated more liabilities than the assets they have,” to allow them to use their own assets to pay it off, is the army’s way of giving respect to the Official. Your client is just a minor shareholder; all he has to do is pay back the losses to the army. The major shareholders for Dacheng—Mr. Zhao and Mrs. Dacheng—had intentionally cheated the army. Not only will they have to return the illegal profits they’d taken, but the army will be bringing them to court as well. Even if they were to announce their company as bankrupt, nothing will help.”
This was a criminal act. Therefore, they would have to face the legal consequences. They would not get away with it just because they had only been the shareholders.
Zhang Baochen finally understood. Grabbing hold of Jin Dazhuang, he said nervously, “Lawyer Jin, I don’t want to go to jail! I don’t want to go to jail! Help me with the case! I will do anything!”
He didn’t mind being bankrupt so long as he didn’t have to go to jail.
Gu Nianzhi stifled a laugh and pushed the Assets Investigation Form towards him. “Me. Zhang, just sign this. According to your shares, you only have to bear 265 million out of the losses of 5.3 billion in total. Selling all the assets under your name, plus the savings you have in your bank accounts, should be almost enough.”
Jin Dazhuang sighed and continued to speak some sense into Zhang Baochen. “You don’t really have any other options. Just do as Miss Gu says; you won’t have to go to jail if you do that.”
Due to the fact that Zhang Baochen only had a small portion of the shares and had not participated in managing the company, all he had to do was to surrender all the dividends he’d taken in the past. The army would not be too hard on a minor shareholder.
However, their main targets were Zhao Da and Zhang Feng.
Zhao Da went pale as he listened on from the side and called out to Zhang Baochen eventually when he couldn’t hold back any longer. “Baochen, can’t you go and beg Official Huo? I thought he had been set to marry your mother?”
Zhang Baochen turned around and stopped him furiously. “Shut up! Stop spouting nonsense!”
Zhao Da knew the marriage must have fallen through and began to panic even more. His hands gripped the sofa he was sitting on until his knuckles turned white.
“I really won’t have to go to jail as long as I pay up?!” Zhang Baochen ignored Zhao Da. He looked at Jin Dazhuang earnestly, eyes as big as saucers. “Lawyer Jin, can you guarantee it?”
Jin Dazhuang looked at Gu Nianzhi. “Miss Gu, if my client compensates the money, can the army provide my client with a Letter of Waiver, please?”
This way, he wouldn’t be sued.
Gu Nianzhi nodded with confidence. “That’s definite. As long as he compensates his share, I will personally get the Letter of Waiver for him.”
Zhang Baochen heaved a huge sigh of relief and told Jin Dazhuang, “Lawyer Jin, please calculate all my assets for me.”
Gu Nianzhi pursed her lips, thinking: This Zhang Feng had been truly clever at fishing for money. She was already a wealthy woman, but she still wanted her son to have such vast amounts of wealth.
However, when one ate more than they could handle, it would be impossible to escape the consequences.
Zhang Baochen took the pen and signed the form. He also signed the agreement to auction his real estate properties.
Gu Nianzhi placed the documents and forms carefully into her briefcase and bid her goodbyes.
Coming out from the office, Gu Nianzhi stood in front of the lift and was having a conversation with Zhao Liangze as she waited.
Just then, the lift doors opened and, wearing a Camel brown woolen shirt and cream-colored slacks, He Zhichu stood right in front of them.
Instinctively, Gu Nianzhi took a step backwards.
It was the first time they were meeting since she’d had a falling out with him at his place.