Relief Money Used for Nike Runners
A branch of ICBC, the biggest bank in China, in quake-hit Mianyang city, bought 56 pairs of Nike running shoes for its workers. The branch used 28 500 yuan (R33 000) to buy the shoes at the end of May, and made counterfeit receipts to say it had bought raincoats, rubber boots and umbrellas.
"After the audit investigation revealed this problem, the bank returned the 'special earthquake funds' that were inappropriately used," the report said.
There were also suspicions around text messages that were sent en masse in some areas about the quake, asking for donations.
Another investigation by the audit office revealed that in some areas, text messages about the quake were sent en masse, and were suspected of cheating mobile phone users into donating money into bank accounts, the report said.
"According to our investigation, there are some people who already put earthquake donations into the fundraising accounts," the report said.
Those accounts had been frozen, according to the audit office, which did not reveal how much money was involved.
Misappropriation of funds allocated to help in the wake of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake -- which has killed nearly 70,000 and left another 17,500 missing -- is of huge concern in a country where graft is endemic.
Corruption is rampant both in government ranks and throughout society, as the country ploughs through its development boom without a free press or an independent judiciary.
President Hu Jintao has repeatedly warned that corruption is one of the biggest threats to the legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party.