Missing Chinese actress hit with $129 million fine for tax evasion

Fan was reportedly kept in a

Fan Bingbing: Chinese movie star ordered to pay back millions over tax evasion

The nation's highest paid actress, Fan has tens of millions of followers on the popular Sina Weibo network and is the face of many luxury endorsements in the country.

Chinese tax authorities said they began investigating Fan in June after members of the public accused Fan of using contract fraud to evade taxes, Xinhua reported. The actress was personally fined $70 million for tax evasion as part of that total amount, three months after she vanished from public view.

As a first-time offender, she will not face criminal prosecution if she pays the fine by an undisclosed deadline. Fan was last seen in public in July when she visited a children's hospital. Update: Fan has also officially responded - see below.

In the statement, Fan says she "accepts the judgement completely" and talks of the "immense pain" this experience has caused her.

The 36-year-old actress, model and producer had been a ubiquitous household name in China for years and tasted Hollywood success with a role in the 2014 blockbuster "X-Men: Days of Future Past".

Her agent was detained for allegedly obstructing the investigation by ordering evidence destroyed and concealing accounting documents.

"Without the favorable polices of the Communist Party and state, without the love of the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing", she added.

According to a brief report on the matter from Xinhua, Fan has agreed to repay the tax owed along with any fines.

"I am unworthy of the trust of the society and let down the fans who love me", Fan wrote, promising to "try my best to overcome all difficulties and raise funds to pay back taxes and fines", according to the Associated Press.

Although Ms Fan denied the accusations and Mr Cui eventually walked back his claims, China's State Administration of Taxation announced shortly after that it was looking into the claims of tax evasion involving celebrities.

The Chinese actor Fan Bingbing, who has been missing for months amid rumours of possible wrongdoing, has been fined for tax evasion.

So-called "yin and yang" dual contract arrangements - with one contract for income declared to tax authorities while the other is kept secret - are reported to be used in China to evade taxes. LOIC VENANCELOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images Fan Bingbing attends the "The Beguiled" screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 24, 2017 in Cannes, France.

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