Even before China's great stock market bull run of 2006-2007, Wang Jianzhong had become known as China's "god of stocks" for his prescient picks.
Such was his influence at the market's peak that reports by his company, Beijing Shoufang Investment Consulting, republished in dozens of influential newspapers and websites, were themselves often cited as a reason for a particular share price rising.
By late 2006, it was generally expected that whichever companies Wang recommended in his columns would be among the biggest gainers the next trading day in the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets.
Wang knew it as well, and put that knowledge to use.
Between January 2007 and May 2008, Wang bought shares in 38 companies, wrote reports on them, and then unloaded the stocks after his recommendations helped lift their share prices.
It was a lucrative ramping scheme. In 55 separate transactions during that time, Wang earned 125 million yuan ($19.5 million), according to regulators.
The financial sleight of hand has now given him the dubious distinction of being China's first convicted stock market manipulator.
He was sentenced in August to seven years in prison and fined 125 million yuan, on top of having illicit earnings of the same amount confiscated.
Image: Wang Jianzhong (Centre) listens to the verdict being pronounced at the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court, August 3, 2011 in this photo distributed by China's official Xinhua News Agency.
Text: Jason Subler, Reuters