Missing Exec, $357M Cash Just Part of Dairy Co's Very Bad Year

China Huishan Dairy co-owner Ge Kun disappeared in March
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2017 4:40 PM CDT
Huishan milk sits on a shelf in a grocery store in northeastern China. The dairy company is missing an executive--and $357 million in cash.   (Chinatopix via AP)

(Newser) – Ge Kun, a Chinese dairy firm executive, has been missing for more than two months. But, she's not alone: China Huishan Dairy now states it's also missing approximately $357 million in cash, CNN reports. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ge sent a letter dated March 21 to the Huishan chairman and hasn't been seen since. The letter said "recent work stress had taken a toll on her health." Ge was an executive director and co-owner of the company and in charge of everything from human resources to branding, including treasury and cash operations. Huishan announced this week that its accounts reveal it should have $426 million in cash or cash equivalents, but its bank states it only has $69 million.

Ge's disappearance and the missing money are part of a horrible six-month stretch for Huishan, which claims it runs more dairy farms than any other company in China. In December, a US investment research firm accused Huishan of fraud and reporting fake profits. And a few days after Ge's letter, the company's stock lost 85% of its value in a single day, Reuters reports. The drop is still unexplained. In the weeks since, nine out of 10 board members have left Huishan, the company's debt has ballooned to $3.9 billion, and 16 new legal proceedings have started against it. Huishan has filed a missing person's report for Ge and states it will hire a forensic accountant to investigate the "significant discrepancy" in its cash situation. (Read more China stories.)

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