One of China’s biggest stars and accused tax-evader Fan Bingbing isn’t in jail. But unless she pays the Chinese government millions, she could find herself in jail for real.
Fan hadn’t been seen publicly since July 1, two months after a Chinese reporter published documents that showed a high-profile actress, later revealed to be Fan Bingbing, was accused of pulling a “yin yang contract” scam, where the government got one contract with a lower salary amount, and she got the real one with a much higher payday. The government found millions in missing money. Fan was banned from acting for three years as punishment while all this tax drama got sorted out.
Several news outlets are reporting today how much Fan owes. The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, and Yahoo all say Fan owes over $100 million in fines and back taxes. She reportedly owes anywhere from $107 million to $130 million. Whatever the actual amount may be, Fan won’t face criminal prosecution if she pays up.
Fan has also resurfaced on social media after being in hiding for several months. After the reports of Fan’s missing money hit the news, she hopped on her Weibo account and released a statement to her 62 million followers in which she apologized profusely and fully admitted to taking yin and yang contracts. You can read her full statement at The Hollywood Reporter, but here’s some of it:
“Recently I have been enduring an unprecedented amount of pain, undergoing deep self-reflection and introspection. I am deeply ashamed and feel guilty for what I have done, and I offer my sincere apologies to everyone.
Throughout these days of cooperation with the taxation authorities’ investigation into my accounts, as well as those of my company, I have come to realize that, as a public figure, I should have observed the law, setting a good example for society and the entertainment industry. I shouldn’t have lost the ability to control myself in the face of economic interests, allowing myself to break the law. Here I sincerely apologize to society, my friends who care about me, the public and the taxation authorities.
I completely accept the penalties given by the taxation authorities after their thorough investigation. I totally accepted all of them, and will raise funds to pay my taxes and penalties regardless of any obstacles.”
That part about raising funds makes it sound like Fan doesn’t exactly have $130 million lying around in her bank account to write a check for. I’m sure Fan has some rich friends who can help her out in her time of need. And if not, there’s always GoFundMe. If every one of her Weibo followers donated just one dollar, she’d be halfway there! And it probably wouldn’t be hard to guilt them into it either. “Hey Fan fans, unless you want to go from watching me on the big screen to a prison’s CCTV system, you better donate.”