The Appeals Court in Quang Ninh on June 27 upheld the life sentence handed to Bui Thi Thu Hang for swindling people off millions of dollars in an insurance scam.

It also held sentences of 3-13 years in prison handed down to 16 accomplices for cheating and appropriating a total of over 230 billion VND (10.7 million USD).

After hearing leniency pleas from 13 of the 17 defendants, the court decided to reduce by 1-2 years sentences awarded to eight defendants.

The first trial of this case was held in October 2013.

Under the original indictment, Hang, 30, a former insurance consultant in a branch of Prudential Life Insurance Company Vietnam in Quang Ninh Province, created fake receipts and applications for various types of VIP insurance packages to sell to clients.

She and her accomplices misused the company's title and created forged documents and stamps to deceive clients.

The court ordered Hang and the 16 other defendants to return all the money they appropriated from the clients.

Hang was required to return 211 billion VND (9.9 million USD) and other defendants were asked to repay the rest of money.

The court also concluded that Prudential Life Insurance Company Vietnam did not have to compensate clients because it had not directly signed insurance contracts with the clients.-VNA