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Woman pawns friend's house using forged documents

A woman who allegedly took 500,000 yuan (US$78,159) from a pawn shop by using a friend's property ownership certificate has been arrested on charges of fraud, Huangpu District prosecutors said yesterday. The 55-year-old woman surnamed An pretended to be the boss of an investment company and applied for a collateral loan of 500,000 yuan at a local pawn shop on March 23, 2010. To get the loan, An mortgaged an apartment on Xianxia Road in Changning District. She showed the pawn company all the required documents, including the ownership certificate, the attorney's letter with signatures of the house owner surnamed Zhang, his wife and their son, and a notary letter. The pawn company approved An's application after all the documents were confirmed real. On the same day, it transferred 500,000 yuan to An's bank account according to her request. However, when the company went to register the apartment at the housing exchange center, the notary letter turned out to be a fake. The company then contacted Zhang, the house owner, who said he had never authorized anyone to apply for a collateral loan on his behalf. Zhang showed his property ownership certificate to the pawn company, but to his surprise, it was a fake one. An told the company it was Zhang's wife, surnamed Li, who gave her the certificate. Li said she lent the certificate to An in March but didn't know about the loan. The prosecutors said An forged a fake property ownership certificate after she borrowed the real. An disappeared before the loan was due on July 22 this year. The pawn company reported to the police on August 1 and she was captured on August 23. An told prosecutors that she had spent all the money to pay debts and for daily consumption. She also paid 45,000 yuan for the agent fee.

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