Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan appeals death sentence in $27B scam

By Hai Duyen    April 26, 2024 | 05:28 am PT
Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan appeals death sentence in $27B scam
Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan seen at the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City in early April. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Tung
Truong My Lan, the chairwoman of property developer Van Thinh Phat, who was sentenced to death in a $27 billion fraud case, has filed an appeal challenging her initial verdict.

The People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City confirmed on Friday that it had received Lan's appeal, although the specifics of the three-page handwritten appeal remain undisclosed.

Additionally, 50 other defendants involved in the case have also filed appeals seeking sentence reductions.

To date, the court has not yet published the initial verdict on its electronic portal, and neither the defendants nor their lawyers have received copies of the verdicts.

According to current regulations, the court is required to deliver or send the judgment to the involved parties within 10 days from the date the judgment was pronounced.

On April 11, Lan, 68, was sentenced to death for leading a scam that caused damages of VND677 trillion ($27 billion) to the Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB).

She was punished for three crimes: bribery, violating banking regulations and embezzlement. She was ordered to compensate SCB VND673.8 trillion.

She took advantage of the State’s plan to restructure SCB to use the bank as a cash cow after merging two lenders with it.

She indirectly owned 91.5% stake in SCB through many individuals and ordered leaders of the bank to approve loans for companies in Van Thinh Phat’s ecosystem so she can withdraw money from the bank.

She ordered SCB officers to transfer the money to shell companies and then moved the money around or withdrew as cash to cover her wrongdoing.

From 2012 to 2022 Lan and her accomplices obtained 2,500 loans and caused losses of VND677 trillion to the bank.

To cover the wrongdoing at SCB, Lan ordered her subordinates to bribe auditors of the State Bank of Vietnam.

The head banking inspector Do Thi Nhan who received $5.2 million in bribe got life imprisonment.

Three former leaders of SCB, including Dinh Van Thanh and Bui Anh Dung, who served as SCB chairmen from 2014-2020 and 2020-2022 respectively, along with Vo Tan Hoang Van, former general director of SCB, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The remaining 81 defendants received prison sentences ranging from three to 20 years.

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