|Nguyễn Thái Luyện, chairman of the Board of Directors of Alibaba Company, has received a recommendation of life imprisonment for property fraud and money laundering. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Procuracy on Monday (December 19) proposed life imprisonment for Nguyễn Thái Luyện, 36, chairman of the Board of Directors of Alibaba Company, for property fraud and money laundering that caused more than 4,500 victims to lose more than VNĐ2.4 trillion (US$101 million).
Prosecutors proposed Luyện’s wife, Võ Thị Thanh Mai, receive 20 years in prison for property fraud and 12-14 years in prison for money laundering for a total of over 30 years in prison.
Luyện’s younger brother Nguyễn Thái Lực was recommended to receive 20 years in prison for property fraud and 10-12 years in prison for money laundering for a total of more than 30 years in prison.
Huỳnh Thị Kim Thắng, the company’s accountant, was recommended to receive five to six years in prison for money laundering.
Other defendants received recommendations of between 12 and 20 years in prison for property fraud.
In addition, the Procuracy proposed Luyện and his wife Mai pay 4,550 victims VNĐ2.4 trillion in compensation. It also wanted Mai to pay back VNĐ13 billion she got from money laundering.
According to the indictment, in May 2016, Nguyễn Thái Luyện established HCM City-based Alibaba Real Estate Joint Stock Company with 22 affiliate companies to invest in 58 projects in Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu and Bình Thuận provinces.
Luyện assigned his relatives and trusted employees to act as legal entities of these companies to illegally appropriate property.
Taking advantage of people’s lack of understanding of the law in the transfer of land use rights, Luyện and his accomplices counterfeited residential projects, illegally divided and separated land plots and sold them to thousands of people to illegally appropriate VNĐ2.4 trillion.
To create trust and attract customers, Luyện promised to buy back the land at prices 30 per cent higher after 12 months or 38 per cent higher after 15 months from the date of payment.
He also told purchasers they could rent the land back for 2 per cent per month from the date of signing if the customers paid 95 per cent of the contract value.
With this method, most customers who received land transfers in the form of residential plots offered by Alibaba Company did not receive the certificates of land use rights. Instead, Alibaba Company paid interest payments or repurchased the land according to options contracts or attached contract addendums
According to the court, Alibaba Company was not permitted to divide and separate land plots, and the land was not residential as advertised by the company. The offering of options or attached contract addendums was a means of luring people to the projects.
After the judge reviews the report and hears from prosecutors, attorneys, the defendants and the victims, the judge imposes a sentence within the limits set by law. — VNS