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Vietnam Real Estate Tycoon Sentenced To Death In $12.46 Billion Fraud Case

Real Estate Tycoon

A court in Vietnam sentenced Truong My Lang, a real estate tycoon, to death in a $12.46 billion fraud case, which is the country’s biggest financial fraud on record.

The trial, which commenced on March 5 and concluded earlier than expected, was a significant outcome of the ongoing campaign against corruption led by the ruling Communist Party’s leader, Nguyen Phu Trong. Trong has long been committed to eradicating corruption within the party’s ranks.

Lan, the chairwoman of the real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, was convicted of embezzlement, bribery, and breaches of banking regulations at the conclusion of her trial in Ho Chi Minh City, the business hub of Vietnam.

Vietnam primarily reserves the death penalty for violent offenses, but it has also applied it to cases involving economic crimes. Human rights organizations report that the country has executed numerous convicts in recent years, primarily through lethal injection.

According to the Thanh Nien newspaper, 84 defendants in the case received sentences ranging from probation for three years to life imprisonment. Notable among them are Lan’s husband, Eric Chu, a businessman from Hong Kong, who was sentenced to nine years in prison, and her niece, who received a 17-year sentence.

She and her accomplices were found guilty of embezzling over 304 trillion dong from Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), which she effectively controlled through numerous proxies, despite regulations strictly limiting significant shareholding in financial institutions, according to investigators.

Currently, the bank is being supported by the central bank and is undergoing a complex restructuring process. As part of this restructuring, authorities are working to establish the legal status of hundreds of assets that were used as collateral for loans and bonds issued by VTP. The bonds alone amount to $1.2 billion.