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Truong My Lan

Vietnam tycoon gets death sentence in $12-bln fraud case

Vietnam tycoon gets death sentence in $12-bln fraud case
Truong My Lan (C), chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat Holdings, sits during her trial at the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 11 April 2024. Vietnamese tycoon Truong My Lan awaits her verdict, potentially facing the death penalty for one of the country's largest fraud cases, which involves the embezzlement of USD 12.5 billion from Saigon Commercial Bank. She, along with 85 others, is awaiting verdicts and sentencing in Ho Chi Minh City on charges that include bribery, abuse of power, appropriation, and violations of banking laws. Lan has denied the charges. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

HANOI, April 11 (Reuters) - A court in Vietnam handed the death sentence on Thursday to real estate tycoon Truong My Lan for her role in a 304-trillion-dong ($12.5-billion) financial fraud, the country's biggest on record, state media said.

Her trial, begun on March 5 and ending earlier than planned, was one dramatic result of a campaign against corruption that the leader of the ruling Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, has pledged for years to stamp out.

Lan, the chairwoman of real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, was found guilty of embezzlement, bribery and violations of banking rules at the end of a trial in the business hub of Ho Chi Minh City, state media said.

“We will keep fighting to see what we can do,” a family member told Reutersspeaking on condition of anonymityBefore the verdict he had said Lan would appeal against the sentence.

Lan’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

It was not immediately clear how Lan had pleaded, though state media has quoted prosecutors as saying she not pleaded guilty.

The Thanh Nien newspaper said 84 defendants in the case received sentences ranging from probation for three years to life imprisonment.

Lan and her accomplices were accused of siphoning off more than 304 trillion dong from Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), which she effectively controlled through dozens of proxies, according to investigators.

From early 2018 through October 2022, when the state bailed out SCB after a run on its deposits, Lan appropriated large sums by arranging unlawful loans to shell companies, investigators said.

Vietnam’s graft crackdown, dubbed “Blazing Furnace”, has seen hundreds of senior state officials and high-profile business executives prosecuted or forced to step down.

After one series of big corporate arrests in 2022, Vietnamese stocks suffered a wipeout of $40 billion, rattling investor confidence at a delicate moment for the fast-growing economy.

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Additional reporting by Francesco Guarascio, Phuong Nguyen; Editing by John Mair and Clarence Fernandez)

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  • Chris L says:

    Brilliant News. Severe, but will send shockwaves to underlings and similar criminals

    • Scott Gordon says:

      hmm see what happens when you get really greedy !
      Sliding off great wads of $$$ from your own company is one thing .
      Doing the same with bail out $$ from the govt is bold !
      Much has been said of how long this has taken , yet 84 others have been found guilty and sentenced .
      Maybe the press was covering it in Vietnam , spoke to a few folks , regular folks , had no idea about it , or the death penalty .
      Pay back the money might keep her alive 🙂 Went somewhere .
      $12 billion is a lot !
      Guy in Singapore faces the same penalty for 2-4 kgs of hash !

  • jcdville stormers says:

    If they did this in SA,ja well

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