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Vietnamese Real Estate Tycoon Sentenced to Death for $27 Billion Bank Fraud

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Vietnamese real estate mogul Truong My Lan was sentenced to death by a court in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for her role in the country’s largest-ever financial fraud case.

Lan, aged 67 and chair of Van Thinh Phat Group, was found guilty of orchestrating fraudulent activities that resulted in losses totalling approximately $27 billion to Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), the state media reported.

Lan was also asked by the court to compensate SCB with $26.9 million.

The court, on Thursday, ruled that between 2012 and 2022, Lan illegally controlled SCB, facilitating around 2,500 fraudulent loans.

Despite this being her first offence and her participation in charity, the severity of her actions led to the death penalty, according to the court.

The court cited the irrecoverable nature of the financial losses, the fraud’s negative impacts on SCB organisation, and the erosion of “people’s trust in the leadership of the party and state,” as quoted by VnExpress news media.

In related sentences, Lan’s niece, Truong Hue Van, and her husband, Eric Chu Nap-kee, received 17 years and nine years in prison, respectively, for their roles in the fraudulent scheme.

Furthermore, a former central bank official, Do Thi Nhan, was sentenced to life imprisonment for accepting $5.2 million in bribes linked to these transactions.

Lan’s arrest in October 2022 was part of Vietnam’s ongoing “Blazing Furnace” anti-corruption initiative, which has reached the upper levels of Vietnamese politics, including the resignation of former President Vo Van Thuong earlier this year.

Read: House Committee on Constitution Review extends submission of constitutional amendments to April 30

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