Vietnam sentences real estate tycoon Truong My Lan to death in its largest ever fraud case

Real estate tycoon Truong My Lan was sentenced on Thursday to death by a court in Ho Chi Minh city in southern Vietnam in the country’s largest financial fraud case ever, state media Thanh Nien said.

The 67-year-old chair of the real estate company Van Thinh Phat was formally charged with fraud amounting to USD 12.5 billion — nearly 3 per cent of the country’s 2022 GDP.

Lan illegally controlled Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank between 2012 and 2022 to allow 2,500 loans that resulted in losses of USD 27 billion to the bank, reported state media VnExpress. The court asked her to compensate the bank USD 26.9 million.

Despite mitigating circumstances — this was a first-time offence and Lan participated in charity activities — 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, VnExpress said.

Her actions “not only violate the property management rights of individuals and organizations but also push SCB (Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank) into a state of special control; eroding people’s trust in the leadership of the Party and State,” VnExpress quoted the judgement as saying.

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