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Staff are seen at the Sino-Forest and Sino-Panel China headquarters in Guangzhou, Southern China on June 29, 2011. Story details: Sino-Panel (Yunnan) Forestry Co., is the local affiliate of Sino-Forest.

Adam Dean/The Globe and Mail

Troubled Chinese forestry company Sino-Forest Corp. says it's owed half a billion dollars by several companies that no longer exist.

Of the $887.4-million owed to Sino-Forest subsidiaries incorporated in the British Virgin Islands from authorized intermediaries, approximately $504.8-million is owed by three firms that have been deregistered.

Sino-Forest, which is under Canadian court supervision amid allegations of widespread fraud, says it believes that the deregistrations were improper under Chinese law and it intends to collect the money.

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Meanwhile, of the $126.2-million owed to other BVI subsidiaries from certain Chinese and BVI corporate customers, approximately $63.8-million is owed by six Chinese corporate customers have been deregistered.

One of these six companies also is one of the three authorized intermediaries that deregistered.

Once the most valuable forestry company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Sino-Forest was accused of fraud last year by short seller Muddy Waters Research.

Sino-Forest and several former executives have since also been accused of lying to investors and attempting to mislead investigators by the Ontario Securities Commission.

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