Guangzhou R&F co-founder wanted in US for ‘bribery’, London court hears By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Guangzhou-based property developer R&F Properties is pictured during a strategic cooperation signing ceremony in Beijing, China July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

By Sam Tobin

LONDON (Reuters) – The billionaire co-founder of Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd is wanted in the United States on charges of paying bribes to secure permits for a construction project in San Francisco, a source said on Monday. a London court.

Zhang Li, chief executive of Hong Kong-listed developer R&F, is wanted on a provisional warrant issued in the Northern District of California, which accuses him of participating in a scheme to bribe public officials between 2015 and 2020.

Ben Lloyd, representing U.S. prosecutors, said the scheme involved paying bribes to San Francisco officials for the benefit of R&F’s national subsidiary, Z&L Properties Inc.

R&F did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zhang did not appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Monday, where his lawyers asked a judge to grant him bail ahead of a legal battle against extradition to the United States.

The 69-year-old – who is worth $2.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine – has offered to post bail of 15 million pounds ($18.4 million).

Mark Summers, representing Zhang, said £10m of the guarantee would be provided by R&F. He added: “It can’t go higher than that because of the entry rules. [of] the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Zhang would provide the remaining £5million, Summers said.

Judge John Zani granted bail and imposed a 24-hour curfew on Zhang. The judge also said that Zhang had to be handcuffed to a member of his court-appointed private security team when he left his house in order to report to court.

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