A court in south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region Sunday awarded varying sentences to 118 people for their involvement in a pyramid fund raising scam.
The defendants, including leaders and major members of the pyramid scheme, were awarded jail terms by the Nanning intermediate people's court of varying duration between seven months and 10 years for organising pyramid selling activities, Xinhua reported.
The multi-level marketing network, running since 2009, had nearly 5,000 members. Each new member was asked to pay 3,800 yuan (about $600) to 69,800 yuan on the promise of profits and promotions, the court heard.
The scam involved more than 100 million yuan.
Members of the network came from several provinces or regions, including Xinjiang, Anhui, Sichuan, Shandong and Gansu.
The 40-tier pyramid ring was busted in April 2012.
Pyramid selling has been banned in China since 1998 but has remained rife in many less-developed regions.
This scheme is banned in many countries.