A prison term of 10 to 12 years was proposed on April 28 for Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank), for “breaching accounting regulations causing serious consequences”.
|Ha Van Tham (front, left) and other defendants at the trial (Photo: VNA) |
This is the third case involving Tham. At this first-instance trial held by the Hanoi People’s Court, he and seven other accomplices faced the same charge of “breaching accounting regulations causing serious consequences”.
The People’s Procuracy proposed the jury sentence Tham to 10 to 12 years in prison. He was previously sentenced to life imprisonment at another trial.
Meanwhile, a jail term of 36 to 42 months was proposed for former Deputy General Director of OceanBank Le Thi Thu Thuy (who is spending four years behind bars in another case), and 30 to 36 months for former Director of the bank’s division for accounting and domestic transactions Vu Thi Thuy Duong (who was previously sentenced to 42 months in prison in another case).
The Procuracy suggested prison terms of 18 to 30 months for the five other defendants.
According to the indictment from the Supreme People’s Procuracy, from 2010 to 2014, at the instruction of Tham, OceanBank paid more than 1,576 billion VND (67.2 million USD at the current exchange rate) in extra interest rates, which were not stated in contracts, to customers depositing money at the bank.
To cover the payments, Tham instructed Thuy to coordinate with other sections to produce fake contracts with partners inside and outside of the Ocean Group, resulting in losses of more than 106 billion VND (4.5 million USD) for OceanBank.
The Procuracy said that in this case, as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tham ordered leaders of OceanBank and its partners at the Ocean Group to approve and sign 44 fake contracts, thus causing losses for the bank.
It held that as Tham’s accomplices in this case were only wage-earners and did not gain any personal benefit from the wrongdoings, Tham must bear full responsibility for compensating OceanBank to the tune of over 41 billion VND (1.7 million USD). During the investigation, however, defendant Hoang Van Tuyen, former Chief Accountant at the Ocean Group, and related persons paid back more than 10 billion VND (nearly 426,200 USD), so Tham must now pay the remaining 31 billion VND (1.3 million USD).
Le Thi Thu Thuy was also the largest supporter of Tham in this case, as she directed the accounting and PR divisions to commit wrongdoings, approved payments in 44 fake contracts worth 133 billion VND (5.6 million USD), and signed 15 others worth 60 billion VND (2.5 million USD). She is therefore responsible for the losses of 106 billion VND, according to the procuracy.