Chau Thi Thu Nga, former Chairwoman and General Director of the Land and Housing Construction and Investment JSC (Housing Group), was sentenced to life imprisonment for swindling to appropriate assets at a two-week trial that concluded on October 16.
The Hanoi People’s Court also handed down sentences to nine other accomplices, including former Deputy General Directors of Housing Group Nguyen Truong Son (six years in prison), Le Hong Cuong (four years), Nguyen Vu Hung (30 months), and Phan Thanh Tuyen (24 months).
Prison sentences were given to two former Directors of Housing Group Real Estate Trading Floor Nguyen Thi Tinh (seven years) and Luu Thi Thuy (36 months). Former chief accountant of the firm Pham Thi Thu Hanh will have to spend 36 months in prison while another former chief accountant Dinh Phuc Tieu was given 36 months’ probation. Former acting chief accountant of Housing Group Doan Thi Thanh Thuy was sentenced to 24-month imprisonment.
All of them were punished for swindling to appropriate assets as regulated in the Penal Code.
Aside from the life imprisonment, Nga will also have to pay compensation to her victims. The nine other defendants won’t be responsible for compensation.
According to the verdict, Nga and her accessories appropriated over VND377 billion (US$16.59 million) of 726 clients. She returned VND28.7 billion (US$1.26 million) to 43 clients.
The court found that Nga was the mastermind behind the swindling when she directed other defendants to commit the crime. She also benefited from all the appropriated money.
As pursuant to Clause 1 of Article 42 in the Penal Code and Articles 604, 605, 606 and 608 of the Civil Code, Nga and Housing Group will have to give over VND242 billion (US$10.65 million) in compensation to 501 victims whose appropriated money hasn’t been returned. Housing Group must be responsible for nearly VND187.5 billion (US$8.25 million) of the sum while the remaining must be covered by Nga.
The verdict read that Nga knew the adjusted planning of the B5 Cau Dien housing project hadn’t been approved and its construction hadn’t been licensed. She also knew that Housing Group hadn’t been permitted to mobilise capital from the house buying money paid in advance by the project’s clients.
However, to appropriate clients’ money, Nga, together with the nine accomplices, intentionally carried out swindling activities.
To win clients’ trust, she instructed the publication of false information on the website of Housing Group, the making of a model of the project, and the planting of poles at the B5 Cau Dien project.
The investigation police department of the Ministry of Public Security decided to separate Nga’s spending of over VND157 billion (US$6.91 million) without receipts from the case for further investigation.
Police will also further probe into the acts and responsibilities of some relevant persons at several departments and sectors of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee, the Tu Liem district People’s Committee, and the Cau Dien town People’s Committee.