Niece helped Truong My Lan pocket $511M from bond fraud: police

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Niece helped Truong My Lan pocket $511M from bond fraud: police

Truong Hue Van, a niece of property tycoon Truong My Lan, seen at the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City in April 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Truong Hue Van helped her aunt and property tycoon Truong My Lan appropriate VND13 trillion ($511 million) from bond investors, the police said.

The Ministry of Public Security has identified Van as one of Lan’s accomplices in a VND30.87 trillion (US$1.2 billion) bond fraud, and recommended she be charged along with 26 others for fraudulent appropriation of assets.

In 2018 Lan, chairwoman of property developer Van Thinh Phat, met with executives of her company and Saigon Commercial Bank, in which she directly and indirectly owned a 91% stake, to discuss plans to issue bonds to fund repayment of the lender’s debts.

They agreed to use four subsidiaries of Van Thinh Phat to issue VND30.87 trillion worth of bonds.

One of the issuers was An Dong, in which Van was deputy CEO. Van was also the CEO of Windsor, a company that bought the bonds from An Dong.

On Lan’s orders, Van approved the payment of VND13 trillion by Windsor to An Dong to buy the bonds, but these were fake documents since Windsor lacked funds.

Windsor then sold the bonds to retail investors.

The subsidiaries of Van Thinh Phat never used the money collected from the bonds for the intended purposes, and ended up being unable to redeem them and repay the investors.

The police said Van did not benefit financially from the illegitimate issuance. She showed sincerity during the investigation and helped investigators uncover the case, and all this should be considered during her trial, they said.

Lan has been identified as the mastermind and is likely to be charged with fraudulent appropriation of assets.

She is also facing charges of money laundering and illegal cross-border currency transfer.

In April she was handed the death penalty for causing a loss of VND677 trillion ($27 billion) to SCB, a sentence she has appealed.

Van got 17 years for helping her.