The People’s Court of the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong will hold the first hearing of a major fraud case on March 11.

Former bank director Vu Viet Hung and four alleged accomplices stand accused of taking bribes, illegally appropriating public money and violating credit organisation lending regulations. Prosecutors are arguing that they swindled a total 1.1 trillion VND (52.4 million USD).

Information about the case was revealed by the provincial Party Committee’s Commissions for Popularisation and Education and the provincial People’s Court at a press conference in Gia Nghia town on March 6.

The trial has been defined by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs as one of the “big cases” that need to be tried in 2014. During the investigation, investigating agencies retrieved nearly 700 billion VND.

About 20 lawyers have been registered to defend at the trial, which is expected to last for four days.

Prosecutors will argue that between 2008 and 2010, Hung, as Director of the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) in the Dak Lak-Dak Nong region, approved credit loans of 350 billion VND for Cao Bach Mai, former Director of the Minh Nhat Co. Ltd and Tran Thi Xuan, former Director of the Nhat Tan Co. Ltd. It has been claimed that he permitted the transactions despite being aware of their insolvency, and in return was presented with a car worth 3.2 billion VND.

Hung allegedly signed fake deposit contracts at his bank to help Mai and Xuan, along with Nguyen Thi Van, former head of the Song Cau Cooperative and Dang Thi Ngan, former Director of the Thuy Ngan Co. Ltd. Together, they are suspected of appropriating 580 billion VND from the Nam A Joint Stock Commercial Bank – Hanoi branch and the Phuong Dong Joint Stock Commercial Bank – Ho Chi Minh City exchange.

Mai allegedly faked 75 export contracts with foreign partners to borrow over 1 trillion VND from VDB Dak Lak-Dak Nong and then appropriated 155 billion VND from the bank.-VNA