Vietnamese real estate tycoon sentenced to death in $12 billion fraud scheme

Vietnamese real estate tycoon Truong My Lan was sentenced to death on Thursday (April 11) after being accused of serious crimes in a 304 trillion dong (approximately US$12.46 billion) financial fraud case.

The case is the largest financial fraud case in Vietnam’s history.

Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group founder Truong My Lan was found guilty of fraud, misappropriation of huge sums of money, bribery and violation of banking regulations.

The verdict reads: “The defendant’s actions… have undermined the people’s trust in the (Communist) Party and the country’s leadership.” Prosecutors said the case caused total losses of up to 27 billion euros, equivalent to Vietnam’s 2023 GDP 6%. It will be a large amount.

Truong My Lan, 67, denies the accusations and blames her subordinates, according to Vietnamese state media.

The husband of Truong My Lan, who is also among the defendants, is a wealthy businessman in Hong Kong. Zhang Meilan was found to have forged loan information to transfer money from Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank. She owns 90% of the bank.

Police said they have identified about 42,000 victims in the case, who are Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank bond holders who have been unable to withdraw money and have not received interest since Zhang Meilan was arrested in October 2022.

In addition, this case is a great encouragement to Vietnam’s anti-corruption campaign. Since 2021, more than 4,400 people have been prosecuted in more than 1,700 corruption cases. Still, a death sentence is an unusually severe punishment. | A. Lee, BChannel News

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