Tan Hoang Minh chief seeks reduced sentence in $349M fraud imprisonment

By Thanh Lam   May 2, 2024 | 09:06 pm PT
Tan Hoang Minh chief seeks reduced sentence in $349M fraud imprisonment
Tan Hoang Minh chairman Do Anh Dung seen at the People's Court of Hanoi on March 27, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The chairman of property developer Tan Hoang Minh has sought commutation of his eight-year prison sentence for swindling bond buyers out of VND8.6 trillion (US$349 million).

Do Anh Dung, who was found guilty of fraudulent appropriation of assets, is the only one of 15 people convicted in the case to appeal.

His plea will be reviewed by the People’s High Court of Hanoi.

His son and CEO of the company, Do Hoang Viet, received a three-year sentence for the same crime.

Some victims who lost money in the swindle have demanded a more severe punishment for the defendants.

The People’s Court of Hanoi ruled earlier that Dung was the mastermind who ran the scheme from the beginning and gave directions on how to spend the money appropriated from the victims.

Viet was a major accomplice but sincere in admitting his crime and had merely followed his father’s orders, the court said.

The judges ruled all the losses have been compensated in full after Dung's family paid in VND5.6 trillion and the 13 other defendants paid VND900 million. The police had confiscated some money from Tan Hoang Minh during the investigation.

Tan Hoang Minh was a family-owned company in which the nine employees who were tried along with Dung and Viet had no power and merely took orders.

The company faced financial difficulties starting in early 2022, and Dung instructed Viet to find ways to mobilize cash.

Viet proposed a plan to issue bonds through the company’s subsidiaries since Tan Hoang Minh, due to its large amount of debt, was not eligible to do so.

Viet ordered his subordinates to cook the books of the three subsidiaries to make them eligible for issuing bonds.

Viet also approved the mention of fake projects to gain investors’ trust.

The three subsidiaries then issued bonds worth VND10 trillion, which were "bought" by Tan Hoang Minh without paying in full.

Tan Hoang Minh then sold the bonds to retail investors to raise VND14 trillion in cash.

It used around VND5 trillion to pay interest and appropriated the remaining VND8.6 trillion.

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