Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former official of state-run oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN), has been sentenced to life in prison for the second time for embezzlement.
The Hanoi People’s Court on Monday announced their final decision regarding the sentencing ofThanh, ex-chairman of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), a subsidiary of PVN, and his seven accomplices.
Thanh was sentenced to life imprisonment for embezzling VND14 billion (US$616,502) at the PetroVietnam Power Land Joint-Stock Company (PVP Land).
The other seven suspects were slapped with jail terms between six and 16 years.
According to the case file, the violation was committed during the transfer of shares at PVP Land in 2010.
In late March that year, Le Hoa Binh, former chairman of 1/5 Construction and Services JSC, as well as five shareholders of the Trans-Pacific Services JSC signed a contract to buy 24 million shares in Nam Dan Plaza, a project in which PVP Land held a 50.5 percent capital investment.
In order to buy the remaining Nam Dan Plaza shares, Thai Kieu Huong, the former deputy general director of Vietsan Investment JSC, which was one of five shareholders in Trans-Pacific Services JSC, approached Thanh and asked him to divest his interest in the real estate project.
Thanh agreed and directed his subordinate, Dao Duy Phong, to handle the procedure.
Phong then established a plan to sell over 12 million shares of Nam Dan Plaza at VND13.578 ($0.6) each, or equivalent to VND34 million ($1,497) per square meter, while the original value was VND52 million ($2,289) per square meter.
The scheme was later approved by Thanh.
As PVP Land sold its shares at Nam Dan Plaza at a much cheaper price than the original rate, the firm suffered losses worth about VND87 billion ($3.8 million).
After the share transfer was completed, Huong and Binh gave VND14 billion to Thanh and VND10 billion ($440,359) to Phong to return the favor.
During a previous trial in January, Thanh had already been sentenced to life in prison for deliberately violating state regulations on economic management and property embezzlement, leading to losses of VND119 billion ($5.24 million).