Wang Zhendong, a Chinese citizen, has been sentenced to death for scamming people out of 3 billion yuan ($387m).
The case against him heard how he conned investors into thinking that he could produce medicines and elixirs from mature ants. Such ants are thought to provide a natural remedy to arthritis.
Wang, however, made all sorts of wild promises in order to persuade purchasers to pay up to 10000 yuan ($1300) for the ant which were costing him a mere 200 yuan.
Around ten thousand investors gave Wang the ability to spend almost 800 million yuan on clearing his debts, amongst many other things. When authorities put an end to the scam only 10 million yuan was recovered.
Fifteen managers of the company received fines of between 100000 and 500000 yuan in addition to stiff jail terms. Wang, who claimed he knew nothing about the true costs of raising ants, is likely to be put to death by firing squad.