Mastermind of multi-million dollar financial fraud could face death penalty — RT World News


Prosecutors in Vietnam are accusing Truong My Lan of orchestrating an embezzlement scheme that caused more than $20 billion in damages

A property tycoon in Vietnam could face the death penalty in a corruption trial over alleged fraud that is considered the largest in the Southeast Asian nation’s history, according to local media reports.

Truong My Lan, chairwoman of real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group (VTP), allegedly embezzled over 304 trillion dong ($12.5 billion) from Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), which she effectively controlled through “thousands of ghost companies” between 2012 and 2022, the newspaper Vietnam+ reported on Monday, citing court documents. A further 193 trillion dong ($7.8 billion) in damages came from accumulated interest on the loans that Lan and her accomplices allegedly took from the bank.

The total damages the alleged scam caused amounts to roughly 498 trillion dong ($20 billion), or about 4.9% of Vietnam’s GDP.

Lan has also been accused of bribing officials to ignore her activities, including a payment of $5.2 million she allegedly made to a senior central bank inspector, prosecutors said. Apart from Lan, 85 other people are being probed in connection with the case.

The tycoon was arrested when the investigation was launched back in October 2022. Her trial is expected to run until the end of April. Prosecutors are demanding that she receive a death sentence for embezzlement, 20 years in prison for bribery, and up to 20 years for violating the country’s financial regulations.

“During the trial, Truong My Lan did not admit to the crime, was stubborn, blamed her subordinates and didn’t show remorse. The defendant’s actions caused extremely serious and irreparable consequences, so Truong My Lan should be permanently removed from society,” Vietnam+ cited the prosecutors as saying.

Lan’s representatives have not responded to media requests for comment on the proceedings.

VTP was one of Vietnam’s most profitable real estate companies, with projects ranging from luxury residential buildings and offices to hotels and shopping centers. It held some of the most luxurious properties in the country’s commercial hub, Ho Chi Minh City.

Lan’s trial is part of an anti-corruption drive that started in 2022, which has seen thousands of officials within the highest levels of government and business executives investigated.

You can share this story on social media:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *