Vietnamese Real Estate Tycoon Sentenced to Death in $12 Billion Fraud Case

Truong My Lan, a Vietnamese real estate tycoon, was sentenced to death on Thursday for her role in a financial fraud case, in a major display of the ruling Communist Party’s resolve to crack down on corruption.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced Ms. Lan, who was arrested in 2022 and faced charges of bribing government officials, violating banking regulations and embezzling more than $12 billion from one of Vietnam’s largest banks.

The trial for Ms. Lan, who was the chairwoman of the real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Group, was part of the government’s campaign against corruption. The leader of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, has sought for years to stamp out corruption as the nation emerges as a major manufacturing hub and as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

Ms. Lan, 67, who is eligible to appeal the verdict within 15 days under Vietnam’s criminal code, has denied the charges throughout the court proceedings. In Vietnam, a range of offenses carry the death penalty, including violent crimes, economic crimes, drug trafficking and sexual abuse.

The main charges against Ms. Lan involved her embezzling money from Saigon Commercial Bank between 2018 and 2022, for which a panel of judges sentenced her to death. But the court also sentenced her to 20 years in prison for each of the other two charges, bribery and banking law violation.

Prosecutors said that the total financial damages in her case amounted to $20 billion, or about 5 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product, according to the state news media. Ms. Lan’s lawyer declined to comment.

Back to top button