College Student in China Commits Suicide After Defrauding Friends of Vast Sums

March 18, 2016 Updated: March 21, 2016

Before he plunged to his death from a building in Qingdao on March 9, Zheng Dexing said in a final message to his former roommates that they could get their loans forgiven if they explained how he had cheated them.

For years, Zheng, a former political monitor of his college classes and a friendly and easygoing young man, stole¬†his friends’ personal information and used it to take out loans under their names, state media reported.

He borrowed around 700,000 yuan (about $108,000) in the names of 28 classmates.

He borrowed around 700,000 yuan (about $108,000) in the names of 28 classmates at the Henan University of Animal Husbandry and Economy, where he was a student.

Zheng explained the fraud to his friends in a voice message left before he committed suicide.

“Brothers, I’m going to jump. At this last moment, I want to say that I’m sorry to you all. I’ve heard that falling to death hurts, but I’m really just too tired,” Zheng says. It was his fifth and final suicide attempt.

Zheng's IOU note with red ink fingerprint signature. (Wechat)

It’s unclear what he did with all the money he borrowed, or why he borrowed it. Before his death Zheng wrote “IOU” notes to each of the students explaining which firm he had borrowed from, and how much.

“You guys can join together and sue me for fraud, so you won’t have to return the money,” Zheng says in the audio before he jumps.

Screenshot of Zheng's final audio message. (Wechat)

Until that happens, though, the loan companies are demanding they pay the money back. The victimized classmates have already started to receive threatening phone messages from some of the firms. “If I don’t return it, they’ll follow me every day and make trouble for me in the school,” says one of the classmates.