The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on May 4 gave punishments from three-year suspended prison sentences to seven-year imprisonment to the defendants charged with “violating regulations on lending in activities of credit institutions” at Dai Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Trust Bank), the predecessor of the Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB).
According to the verdict, the Trust Bank’s credit council, comprising Hoang Van Toan (former Chairman of the Board of Directors), Tran Son Nam (former Director General), Lam Hong Trinh (former Deputy General Director), Ho Trong Thang (former head of the credit management division), Ngo Duc Tri (former Deputy General Director), Tran Thi Hong Phuong (former director of the accounting division), and Pham Thi Quynh Ngan (former head of the legal division), verified and approved the lending of VND370 billion (equivalent to US$16.2 million at present) to Thinh Quoc company and VND280 billion (US$12.3 million) to Dai Hoang Phuong company with an interest rate of 15 percent in 12 months to purchase over 5,000 sq.m of land at Chi Lang Stadium in Da Nang city.
When they considered the credit provision, the members of the credit council were found to have not complied with regulations by accepting loan applications without financial reports and imprecisely assessing the clients’ financial strength.
In fact, these businesses were established by Pham Cong Danh, former Chairman of the VNCB and Chairman of the members’ council and Director General of the Thien Thanh Group, but did not operate and their loan applications were fake.
The defendants based on the verification certificate of the future asset whose value was augmented by many times to approve the credit provision. In fact, the clearance in the land lot at the Chi Lang Stadium hadn’t been finished while there hadn’t been any certificates or investment activities in this land.
Their acts caused a loss of more than VND470 billion (US$20.6 million) to the bank.
The court decided to give the prison terms of seven years to Hoang Van Toan and six years to Tran Son Nam. Three of the five other defendants were sentenced to three years in prison while the remaining two received three-year suspended prison sentences.
Pham Cong Danh has to bear responsibility for compensating for the loss in the case. This compensation responsibility was ruled in the verdicts of the first-instance trial of the HCM City People’s Court on September 9, 2016 and the appeal trial of the HCM City High-level People’s Court on January 24, 2017. Therefore, the defendants in this case were not forced to compensate for the loss.