Company chairman gets five years for stock manipulation

By Thanh Lam   May 12, 2023 | 06:16 am PT
Company chairman gets five years for stock manipulation
Louis Holdings chairman Do Thanh Nhan is seen at a court in Hanoi on May 12, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Danh Lam
Chairman of agriculture firm Louis Holdings Do Thanh Nhan was sentenced to five years and six months in prison on Friday for stock manipulation.

Seven accomplices also received various punishments, from 12-month suspended prison sentences to four years in prison, the Hanoi People’s Court decided.

Among the partners in crime, Do Duc Nam, CEO of Tri Viet Securities, was sentenced to four years in prison, the second most severe punishment of the group.

All eight accused will also be prohibited from working in the securities and finance sectors for 12 months after completing their sentences.

The court has collected VND154 billion ($6.56 million) in total from the accused, including VND140 billion from Nhan and the Louis Holdings company.

Nhan told the court that he had been "careless" in committing the crime and apologized for his actions. He sought a less severe punishment from the court, arguing that he is the main breadwinner of his family and his parents are weak.

Nhan bought two struggling companies in 2020 and 2021, both of which were listed on the stock market as part of Louis Holdings’ ecosystem. He then changed their names to Louis Land (stock symbol BII) and Louis Capital (TGG).

He then directed his employees and family members to register 17 securities accounts at Tri Viet Securities. They also borrowed money from the brokerage to buy and sell shares from the two companies.

Nhan even formed a social media group, Louis Family, with over 10,000 members, to urge investors to buy more shares.

After nine months, BII surged from VND1,000 to VND33,800, and TGG went up from VND1,800 to VND74,800, or a 42-fold increase.

Nhan and his accomplices sold their shares when the prices peaked, illegally gaining VND154 billion. The shares’ value plunged shortly afterward.

At the trial, Nhan claimed to "know nothing" about the stock market and said his partner in crime Nam was the mastermind behind the crime.

Nam, however, rejected the claim and said that he only worked to satisfy the demands of Nhan, who was his customer at the time.

Procurators said that Nhan’s claim of ignorance was ungrounded as he had been working for years as the chairman of several businesses.

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