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Vietnamese court sentences tycoon to death in multibillion-dollar fraud case

A Vietnamese court sentenced a business executive to death Thursday in a multibillion-dollar fraud case as the country's ruling Communist Party seeks to crack down on corruption.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced Truong My Lan, a 67-year-old real estate tycoon, to death on mass-scale embezzlement charges, state media reported. She received additional 20-year sentences for bribery and violating lending regulations and was ordered to pay nearly $27 million in compensatory damages.

Lan, chairwoman of the real estate firm Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, was convicted of fraudulently siphoning $12 billion from Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank - which she controlled for more than a decade, according to state media reports - into shell companies. She had seized control of 91.5 percent of SCB's shares, allegedly using co-conspirators as proxies to circumvent strict laws against such extensive power over financial institutions, state media outlets reported. To enable the scheme, she allegedly installed complicit executives into high-ranking positions at the bank and bribed regulators, according to state media reports.


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