Landmark Verdict Vietnam Sentences Truong My Lan to Death in Historic Fraud Case

Landmark Verdict: Vietnam Sentences Truong My Lan to Death in Historic Fraud Case

In the biggest financial fraud case in Vietnam’s history, real estate mogul Truong My Lan was found guilty on Thursday and given the death penalty by a Ho Chi Minh City court, according to state media Thanh Nien.

The 67-year-old chair of the real estate firm Van Thinh Phat faces fraud charges totaling $12.5 billion, or almost 3% of the GDP of the nation in 2022. Between 2012 and 2022, she unlawfully controlled the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank, using it to embezzle these sums through thousands of fictitious businesses and bribing public officials.

Among the most well-known arrests in Vietnam’s ongoing campaign against corruption, which has been stronger since 2022, was Lan’s in October of 2022. The highest levels of Vietnamese politics have been impacted by the so-called Blazing Furnace campaign.

Following his involvement in the campaign, former president Vo Van Thuong announced his resignation in March.

However, the country has been stunned by the scope of Lan’s trial. Among the wealthiest real estate companies in Vietnam, VTP completed projects involving opulent homes, workplaces, hotels, and shopping malls.

The scope of the scam, according to analysts, begged the question of whether other banks or companies had made comparable mistakes, dimming Vietnam’s economic prospects and unsettling foreign investors at a time when Vietnam has been attempting to present itself as the perfect location for companies looking to shift their supply chains away from China.

Vietnam’s real estate market has been especially badly hit: According to state media, developers have been luring buyers with discounts and gifts of gold, and even though shophouse rent in Ho Chi Minh City has dropped by a third, much of the city’s center’s properties remain unoccupied. An estimated 1,300 real estate companies left the market in 2023.

Vietnam’s leading leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the Communist Party, declared in November that the campaign against corruption would “continue for the long term.”