$12.5 Billion Scam: Vietnamese Tycoon Faces Death Penalty (#1 Fraud Case in Vietnam’s History)

$12.5 Billion Scam: Vietnamese Tycoon Faces Death Penalty (#1 Fraud Case In Vietnam’S History)
On trial in Ho Chi Minh City on April 11, 2024, was Truong My Lan, the chairwoman of major developer Van Thinh Phat. (Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre)

Truong My Lan, a prominent Vietnamese real estate developer, was sentenced to death on Thursday for her role in a record-breaking financial fraud scheme. The 67-year-old chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat, known for its luxury developments, was accused of embezzling billions from the Saigon Joint Commercial Bank (SCB).

The Charges:

  • Embezzlement: Lan allegedly used her influence to illegally control SCB from 2012 to 2022, funneling funds for personal gain.
  • Loan Fraud: Through a network of “ghost companies,” Lan is accused of issuing fraudulent loans to herself and associates, resulting in losses exceeding $27 billion for the bank.
  • Bribery: The court alleges Lan paid bribes to government officials, including a former central bank official sentenced to life imprisonment for accepting millions in bribes.

The Impact:

  • Economic Damage: Lan’s actions are estimated to have caused financial losses equivalent to nearly 3% of Vietnam’s 2022 GDP.
  • Public Trust: The court highlighted the erosion of public trust in the government and banking system due to Lan’s crimes.

Who is Truong My Lan?

  • From Humble Beginnings: Lan started by assisting her mother in a market stall before co-founding Van Thinh Phat in 1992.
  • Real Estate Empire: The company built a vast portfolio, including prestigious properties in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Anti-Corruption Sweep: Lan’s arrest in 2022 came amid Vietnam’s intensified crackdown on corruption.

Death Penalty for Financial Crimes?

While capital punishment is not uncommon in Vietnam, it’s rarely used for financial crimes. This case reflects the severity of Lan’s actions and their devastating impact on the nation’s economy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *