Vietnam real estate tycoon to face trial in March in $12 billion fraud case – media

HANOI (Reuters) – The chairwoman of Vietnam real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group will go on trial in March over accusations of embezzlement, state media reported on Wednesday, in the country’s most high-value fraud case on record.

Truong My Lan and dozens of accomplices were accused of siphoning off 304 trillion dong ($12.46 billion), or around 3% of Vietnam’s gross domestic product, from Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank.

Hundreds of lawyers will represent 86 defendants in the case, Dan Tri newspaper said, citing an official of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court.

Lan is expected to face more charges in future, the report said, with investigations ongoing into alleged money laundering and illegal bond issuance.

Reuters was unable to immediately reach the company for comment. It is not clear what plea Lan will enter at the trial in March or her response to the accusations.

The trial is expected to last more than a month, Dan Tri said, adding 104 boxes of case documents weighing six metric tons had been brought to the court.

($1 = 24,405.0000 dong)

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)