3 Vietnamese siblings charged with defrauding bank of $27 mil

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Prosecutors in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong have charged three siblings with defrauding Techcombank of nearly US$27 million, while several bankers are also being held accountable.

Phan Thanh Lap, 35, his sister Phan Thi Lan, 53, and his brother Phan Thanh Chinh, 49, founded the Cong Chinh import-export company in 2000. In 2010 the firm posted fraudulent profit statements, covering up losses of nearly $15 million in order to deceive the Hanoi-based bank into issuing it a $24 million line of credit.

The firm managed to borrow nearly VND416 billion ($20 billion) from the bank's branch in Ho Chi Minh City.

Lap also established his own company in late 2004, which was able to appropriate more than VND143.4 billion ($6.88 million) from the branch.

The prosecutors said the fraud committed by the three siblings was only possible because of the managerial errors of Bui Minh Hai, former deputy head of the branch's business department, as well as Pham Phu Phong and Nguyen Thuy Hang of the bank's customer service department. The three were all charged with violating lending regulations.

For his failure to uncover the company's fraudulent assessment of its assets, the bank's auditor Huynh Xuan Quang, was charged with "irresponsibility causing serious consequences."

Luong Huu Lam, former director of the branch, and his former deputy, Dinh Thi Hien, were also charged with irresponsibility which led to serious consequences.

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