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A BILLIONAIRE SENTENCED TO DEATH
A billionaire sentenced to death
12 April 2024 | 10:24

Court in Vietnam has sentenced a property tycoon to death over her role in a $27 billion financial fraud case, the country’s largest on record.

Truong My Lan, chair of major developer Van Thinh Phat, was found guilty of embezzlement, bribery and violations of banking rules at the end of a trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday, according to state media. Her lawyers now have 15 days to appeal the verdict.

The 67-year-old illegally controlled the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) between 2012 and 2022 to siphon the funds through thousands of ghost companies and by paying bribes to government officials.

Value of her alleged asset appropriation was equivalent to about 3 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, and prosecutors said they seized more than 1,000 properties belonging to her. Lan had denied charges levelled against her, instead blaming subordinates. In her final remarks to the court last week, she said she had thoughts of suicide.

The court attributed its harsh sentence to the seriousness of the case, saying Lan was at the helm of an orchestrated and sophisticated criminal enterprise that had serious consequences with no possibility of the money being recovered.

It also concluded that her actions did not only violate the property management rights of individuals and organizations but also pushed SCB into a state of special control, eroding people’s trust in the leadership of the Party and State. 



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