The former deputy mayor of Chinese city Lvliang, Zhang Zhongsheng, has been sentenced to death for accepting bribes of more than US$160 million.
Zhang was placed under investigation in May 2014 due to suspected "grave discipline violations" and arrested in January 2016.
The Intermediate People's Court of Linfen, a neighbouring city to the southeast of Lvliang, ruled on Wednesday that the 66-year-old will be subject to the most severe punishment, as he "caused huge losses to the nation and its people", Beijing News reports.
Even though Chinese President Xi Jinping had adopted an incredibly harsh stance on corruption of late, Zhang's sentence is still being seen as an unusually harsh punishment for economic crimes.
The court ruled that Zhang had taken advantages of his position to offer unlawful help to certain coal mine developers in terms of coal resource integration and project approval.
Between 2007 and 2013, two of his 18 bribery offences involved sums totalling more than US$32million, with one worth US$14 million. The court noted that the defendant had shown a "total disregard to the law" and "extreme greed".
Zhang can still appeal against his conviction, as any death penalty sentence must be approved by the Chinese Supreme Court in Beijing.