Despite being in favor of capital punishment for some crimes, I think China might be going too far by executing people for fraud, even when on such a massive scale.

A Chinese business executive was sentenced to death for swindling $385 million from investors in a bogus ant-breeding scheme, a court official said Thursday.

Wang Zhendong, chairman of Yingkou Donghua Trading Group Co., had promised returns of up to 60 percent for buying kits of ants and breeding equipment from two companies he set up, the reports said.

Ants are used in some traditional Chinese medicinal remedies, which can fetch a high price. Wang sold the kits, which cost $25, for $1,300, the Xinmin Evening News and other newspapers reported.

It's hard for me to justify executing a person who caused no direct physical harm to anyone else, but if you aggregate the indirect harm caused by Wang Zhendong's crimes he certainly must have ruined a great many lives. People like Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron stole billions from investors and employees and left thousands of people broke... what kind of punishment can fit that crime?

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