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Vietnamese realty firm chairman receives life sentence for fraud

HCMC – Nguyen Thai Luyen, 36, chairman and CEO of HCMC-based propterty firm Alibaba, was sentenced to life in jail for swindling 4,560 investors with 58 non-existent real estate projects.

Luyen’s wife, Vo Thi Thanh Mai, received 20 years in jail for the same charge, as well as 12 years for money laundering. Her combined 30-year sentence is the maximum non-life penalty in Vietnam.

According to the HCMC People’s Court, Luyen and Mai are required to pay their victims a total of VND2,400 billion in restitution.

Some 21 accomplices of Luyen and Mai got jail sentences between 10 and 27 years. A three-year suspended sentence was given to one member of the fraud ring.

As only 3,900 victims were required to be compensated, the court will continue to address the issue by posting in the three consecutive issues of certain media outlets, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Others claiming to be victims without proof may file lawsuits in other cases.

Previously, Luyen established 22 legal entities represented by his family and staff. Some 12 companies were investors in 58 fake realty projects in the southern provinces of Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Binh Duong.

According to prosecutors, Luyen and his accomplices illegally divided land into small plots before advertising and selling them to thousands of people, with Luyen being the instigator of the crime.

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