A Ho Chi Minh City court has sentenced a businesswoman and former beauty queen to 15 years in prison for swindling millions of dollars with a real estate project nearly a decade ago.
Truong Thi Tuyet Nga, 55, must return more than VND31 billion (US$1.38 million) to Duong My Linh and hand over a land plot of 2,909 square meters to Tran Van Muoi, the court said Tuesday.
Nga, a doctor, won the "Successful Lady" title at the 2009 Mrs Vietnam beauty pageant and was the first runner-up at Mrs Vietnam Global 2012.
She was the director of Vu Anh International General Hospital and Vu Lan Construction and Investment Company, both in HCMC.
According to the indictment, Nga’s construction company in 2007 planned a residential and commercial project of 30,000 square meters (7.4 acres) in the city's District 2.
The authorities rejected the project because it was located at the site of a planned railway station.
However, Nga successfully convinced Linh to invest in the project.
She also sold 2,909 square meters in the project to Muoi. Since then he has failed to obtain the land title because the property was put up as collateral for a VND131 billion loan from Dai Tin, now Vietnam Construction Bank.
Muoi reported the case to the police and Nga was arrested on April 27, 2014.