|Lê Xuân Giang (centre), former chairman of the Liên Kết Việt Joint Stock Company, at the court on Monday. — Photo laodong.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The High People's Court in Hà Nội on Monday gave final sentence to five former leaders and workers of the Liên Kết Việt Joint Stock Company, who had applied for punishment reduction.
Being accused of working with accomplices to lure 68,000 people into multi-level investments and appropriating more than VNĐ1.1 trillion (US$47.3 million), Lê Xuân Giang, former chairman of the company, was sentenced to life in prison, to which he appealed.
The appeal court rejected Giang’s application and sentenced him to life in prison for "fraud to appropriate property."
The appeal court also upheld the sentence for the other four defendants who had asked for a reduction.
Lê Văn Tú, 35, former general director of the company, received 17 years in prison.
Nguyễn Thị Thủy, 50, former deputy general director, received 18 years in prison. Trịnh Xuân Sáng, 45, got 16 years and Vũ Thị Hồng Dung, 46, was given 13 years.
The trial was held on July 14 and 15, then the jury adjourned to consider some documents and then issued an appellate judgment on Monday.
The indictment says Liên Kết Việt was started by Lê Xuân Giang, who organised events to gain the trust of potential clients and investors and build a reputation.
He invited military veterans and officers to his events and convinced them to issue a false certification for his company that stated the company was managed by the Ministry of National Defence.
Giang also claimed he was a colonel to support claims his products were property of the defence ministry.
His products included dietary supplements, physical therapy equipment and ozone deodorising devices.
Between March 2014 and November 2015, Liên Kết Việt opened 35 offices across 27 cities in Việt Nam.
Client agreements stated that members would buy company products, and then sell them to their own customers. They were promised a 65 per cent commission on every product sold, much higher than the 40 per cent allowed by the Government. — VNS