Beautiful game brings down Chinese blogger
GUO Mei Mei, a young Chinese woman who attracted widespread attention after flaunting her extravagant lifestyle online, has confessed to gambling and prostitution charges, and spilled the beans on her life as an escort.
In 2011, she shot to infamy after she claimed that she was "the manager of the Red Cross Commerce", a post she fabricated.
The photos on her microblog, in which she posed with Hermes bags and Maserati sports cars, caused a crisis of confidence in the Red Cross as the public questioned whether its employee was using donated funds on luxury goods.
Guo, 23, said she was chastened after that furore, but recent events proved otherwise.
She was arrested last month by the Chinese authorities for being part of a gang that organised illegal betting during the World Cup via the mobile phone and messaging app Wechat.
According to her personal assistant, Guo is a compulsive gambler. She has made up to 60 trips to Macau, Hong Kong and other countries to gamble since 2010. Her assistant, who was also arrested, said Guo bet a lot and others would sponsor her chips.
In late 2012, she met a "foreign boyfriend" who was a professional poker player. They set up a gambling den in Beijing. Her illegal commissions amounted to hundreds of thousands of yuan.
Guo also admitted to charges of prostitution.
Her assistant said that it was standard procedure for her to lie to her family that she was going to perform, when she was meeting men to provide sexual services. On one trip to meet a man in Ningbo, 250,000 yuan (S$50,000) was left at her bedside, the assistant said.
She never worked at the Red Cross, the charity said in a statement on Sunday.
She was a mistress to businessman Wang Jun who was working on a business venture with the Red Cross at the time.
Guo asked to head the new business venture and she rushed to add her presumptive new job title to her Weibo account, she said. Wang, 46, was detained on criminal charges on July 24.