|Hùng (second, right) at the court yesterday. — Photo cand.com.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The People’s Court of Hà Nội yesterday sentenced Lâm Phúc Hùng, 57, of Đống Đa District, to 14 years’ imprisonment for using Internet and digital tools to appropriate VNĐ80 billion (US$3.6 million).
Hùng was the leader of a gang that specialised in trading hotel reservation codes across the world under multi-level marketing activities, the Công an nhân dân (People’s Public Security) online newspaper reported.
The indictment said Hùng was the director of the Hà Nội-based Southeast Asia Diamond Holiday Co Ltd, which was advertised online as an affiliated partner of the United States-based Diamond Holiday Travel Corporation.
According to the company’s advertisement about the ‘profitable tourism programme’, customers could join the programme by paying only US$325 and enjoy services at three-star or five-star hotels and resorts for four days and three nights worldwide.
The customers were also promised rewards ranging from $1,000 to $40,000 if they successfully convinced others to participate. Most of the participants did not travel anywhere or receive any rewards.
The programme involved about 11,600 participants during its operation between February 2010 and November 2011.
The court also sentenced Hùng’s eight accomplices, including Nguyễn Thị Bắc, Phạm Hồng Thanh and Nguyễn Thị Ái Dân who received jail terms of 13, 10 and nine years, respectively. Others received sentences ranging from 30 months in probation to seven years in prison for the same charge.
The court case started on July 18 and ended yesterday afternoon. —VNS