Zhou Zhenglong, the perpetrator of the scam, was arrested for fraud. More than a dozen local officials who had stood behind the story were disciplined. Some were fired.
In the nine months since the first of Zhou's photos was released and posted online, it ignited debate on issues that bedevil a rapidly modernizing China -- faked goods, greed and officials' lies.
Ultimately, the scandal revealed popular disgust with government and corruption and showed that public opinion, amplified by the Internet, can occasionally win out in authoritarian China.
"In my opinion, this is the struggle between the truth and government interest," Yu Hai, a sociology professor at Fudan University, said in a phone interview this week. "Zhou's just a normal farmer who was inspired by money. The big boss behind this is, of course, the officials of Shaanxi province."
It was one story, which showed the severity of the credibility crisis in China, that has had a happy ending.