Property developer gets life sentence for selling fake projects

By Tu Huynh   April 4, 2024 | 12:03 am PT
Property developer gets life sentence for selling fake projects
Nguyen Huu Kha (L), Nguyen Chi Thang and Ho Thi Kim Ngan (R) stand trial in Binh Thuan Province, April 4, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Tu
A court in the central Binh Thuan Province sentenced the director of a real estate company to life imprisonment for selling non-existent projects to 200 customers and embezzling VND155 billion (US$6.2 million).

Nguyen Huu Kha, 34, CEO of Hung Thinh Phat real estate company, received the sentence for fraudulent appropriation of property, the court said Wednesday.

The court also ordered him to compensate more than VND155 billion to 202 victims.

As accomplices, Nguyen Chi Thang, 29, was sentenced to seven years in prison, while Ho Thi Kim Ngan received a five-year prison sentence.

At the end of 2017, Kha established Hung Thinh Phat Investment and Development JSC, headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, and then opened two branches in Binh Thuan to buy and sell subdivided land plots.

Thang was appointed by Kha as the director of the Phan Thiet (Binh Thuan) branch while Ngan was the director of the District 9 branch, which is now Thu Duc, in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the indictment, in 2018 and 2019, Kha purchased agricultural land from several people in Binh Thuan Province.

He admitted that he did not seek permissions to develop any property projects and did not apply for a change of land use purpose but still, unilaterally created 11 nonexistent residential projects with names such as: Phan Thiet City, Phong Nam Residence, Hung Thinh Phat Residence, Diamond Town, and Pearl Hill Villa.

Kha then hired others to draw subdivision diagrams and project perspectives as if they were real, attached price tags for each plot, and instructed the two branches and their employees to sell them with the promise that "the project is in the process of applying for permits, and individual land use certificates would be issued in three to four months."

Those believing these claims signed contracts to buy projects from his company and paid him more than VND155 billion in total.

When the company failed to deliver the land use certificates as promised, customers came to question him, but Kha delayed with excuses that the land was being inspected and the company was facing financial difficulties.

By the end of 2019, realizing they had been scammed, many filed complaints with the police.

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