Prosecutors seek 10-year prison sentence for Tan Hoang Minh chairman in $350M bond scam

By Thanh Lam   March 21, 2024 | 12:39 am PT
Prosecutors seek 10-year prison sentence for Tan Hoang Minh chairman in $350M bond scam
Tan Hoang Minh chairman Do Anh Dung at the People's Court of Hanoi on March 21, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Prosecutors on Thursday recommended a 9-10 year prison term for property developer Tan Hoang Minh chairman Do Anh Dung, accused of defrauding 6,600 investors in a VND8.6 trillion (US$349.6 million) bond scam.

His son Do Hoang Viet, who is also charged with fraudulent appropriation of assets, is recommended 5-6 years, prosecutors told the People’s Court of Hanoi.

Prosecutors emphasized that Dung should face the severest penalty in the case as he held the leadership position within the company and wielded ultimate authority over all its operations, including the violations.

His son Viet as deputy CEO had consulted and assisted him in committing the frauds, they said.

Thirteen remaining defendants, who comprise mostly Tan Hoang Minh leaders and employees and four leaders of two auditing firms, were accomplices and subordinates who helped Dung steal from investors.

The defendants had legal and investment knowledge but still committed illegal actions for personal gains.

As defendants have submitted enough money to compensate for the losses caused, the prosecutors requested the court to approve the compensation of the victims.

Dung and his son have admitted to their crimes during the trial. Dung said he wanted to raise money for big projects amid company financial difficulties and therefore told his son to find ways to mobilize cash.

Dung, however, denied the allegation that he wanted to defraud investors, saying that he considered them partners and paid them their interest on time.

He committed the crime due to his lack of knowledge of bonds, he said.

Viet said he never thought the consequences of his actions would be this severe.

Other defendants said they only followed their superior’s direction and did not gain from the crime. They and their family and friends even bought a lot of the bonds.

They have submitted each to the police VND15-100 million ($600-4,000) in compensation.

On the first day of the trial, around 1,000 victims showed up at court and 100 came the next day.

The victims have requested the court to get their money back.

Tan Hoang Minh in early 2022 owed up to VND20 trillion in debt and was in need of cash.

Its leaders then used three subsidies to issue VND10 trillion worth bonds to the parent company which faked the purchase.

Tan Hoang Minh then sell the bonds to retail investors to raise VND14 trillion in cash, causing a loss of VND8.6 trillion to investors.

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