Monday, July 6 2020

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Trust Bank swindle case appeal resumes

Update: June, 23/2020 - 10:02

 

Defendants at a court in HCM City last year.  — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung

HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Supreme Court yesterday (June 22) began hearing the second phase of the appeal in the misappropriation case at Đại Tín Bank, or Trust Bank, which caused a loss of VNĐ1.338 trillion (US$57.51 million).  

Hứa Thị Phấn, 74, former senior advisor to the bank and chairwoman of the Phú Mỹ Development Investment Joint Stock Company, is appealing her sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment for swindling the money. 

She had been found guilty of “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences” and “abusing trust to appropriate property” in May 2018. 

But she was absent yesterday reportedly due to health reasons. 

Bùi Thị Kim Loan, accountant at Phú Mỹ Co Ltd, got 30 years, Lâm Kim Dũng, former director of Lam Giang Real Estate Co Ltd, got 10 years, Huỳnh Thị Xuân Dung, former director of Phúc Nguyễn Real Estate Investment Co Ltd, got five years, Lâm Hứa Quỳnh Trinh, former deputy head of treasury at Trust Bank in HCM City, got 18 months, and Phạm Hồng Hảo, an employee of the bank, got two years for “abusing trust to appropriate property”.

Loan and Dung are also appealing.

In its indictment, the Supreme People’s Procuracy said that in 2007, taking advantage of her majority shareholder status, when she owned 84.92 per cent of Trust Bank, Phấn took over its management. 

She directed the bank’s board of directors to lend VNĐ1.03 trillion ($44.2million) to four real estate projects in which three of her companies, Phú Mỹ, Lam Giang Real Estate Co Ltd and Phú Mỹ Co Ltd, had invested.

But she took the money for her private purposes and later refused to repay the bank.

She alsoinstructed her staff to buy four properties in districts 1, 3 and 10 in HCM City and one in Nha Trang City, and got the bank’s board of directors to buy them back at much higher prices, pocketing the difference of around VNĐ437 billion ($18.8million).

After the case, Trust Bank was valued at zero đồng, taken over by the Government and renamed Construction Bank. 

The trial will go on until June 24. — VNS 

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