Nguyen Thanh Hung (center), CEO of Binh Duong CityLand Real Estate Trading JSC, and company staff members are on trial in Binh Duong province, November 1, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Yen Khanh
Members of a company in the southern province of Binh Duong have been sentenced to prison terms for selling non-existent projects to 384 people for VND162 billion ($6.6 million).
Nguyen Thanh Hung, 29, CEO of Binh Duong CityLand Real Estate Trading JSC, was sentenced to life in prison for “fraudulent appropriation of property.”
Four other employees and shareholders of the company were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 12 to 20 years each, as the Binh Duong court announced on Wednesday.
According to the verdict, between 2018 and 2019, the defendants purchased numerous plots of agricultural land in Bau Bang and Phu Giao districts and then applied for permission to build housing projects.
Although the applications were not approved, Hung and the defendants still implemented seven real estate projects named Green City, Green City 2, Green City 3, Happy Home, Happy Home 2, Phuc Long City and Phu Thinh.
Hung then hired hundreds of employees to set up sales departments to find customers.
These employees disseminated information about the projects, advertised them to clients, and assured them that all homes were fully legal and eligible for transfer.
The buyers were provided with a detailed plan of the project and promised to obtain the legal ownership certificate after six months to a year.
When arranging meetings with buyers, the group hired construction equipment to work on the ground to make it appear as if all projects were under construction.
Over two years, Hung and his accomplices sold non-existent homes to 384 people for VND162 billion ($6.6 million).
So far, they have only returned VND18 billion to the victims.