Tran Huu Tiep, former management board chairman of MTM at the court (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The People’s Court of Hanoi on May 7 announced sentences for 15 defendants involved in the case of obtaining property by fraud, manipulating securities prices, and falsifying documents at the Central Mining and Mineral Import Export JSC (MTM).

The court sentenced Tran Huu Tiep, former management board chairman of MTM and one of the masterminds, to life imprisonment for obtaining property by fraud.

With the same charge, Tiep’s accomplices – Vu Thi Hoa and Nguyen Le Truong – received 12 years in prison each.

Two other defendants of the case – Bui Thien Ly and Do Huu Tai – each received a 30-month suspended sentence for manipulating securities prices.

At the same time, Nguyen Van Dinh, Nguyen Thi Hien, Ngo Van Hien, Le Thi Hang Nga, and Tran Thi Mai Lan were accused of fabricating an organisation's seal or documents. Dinh got four years in jail, while the others received between 30-36 months of probation.

Sentences of between 20 months of probation to 20 months in prison were given to defendants who were charged with falsifying documents, including Ho Xuan Ly, Le Dac Ha, Dang Manh Hung, Nguyen Thi Hien, and Vu The Vinh.

According to the verdict, Dinh bought the legal documents for MTM in 2010. The company had no charter capital and no business operation.

Dinh and Tiep collaborated with bank officials to falsify the company’s portfolio, which showed MTM had 103 shareholders with 31 million shares – equal to 310 billion VND (13.8 million USD) – in 2014 to meet listing requirements.

Bank officials in 2013-2015 helped the two defendants counterfeit financial invoices worth 485 billion VND (20.78 million USD) to validate shareholders’ capital contributions and the firm’s business results.

While completing requirements to list MTM shares on the stock market, Dinh was put into custody and accused of counterfeiting business stamps and documents to avoid taxes and violating lending rules in another case.

Tiep and his partners continued to put MTM shares on the stock market in mid-April 2016, while he owned half of the company’s total post-listing shares, worth 155 billion VND of charter capital.

In June 2016, when the false nature of MTM shares was discovered, the company had had more than 1,150 investors, 71 percent of whom had reported the case to the police for investigation.

MTM shares were immediately de-listed from the stock market.

According to the court, the accused caused a 56 billion VND (2.4 million USD) loss to individuals, including 43 billion VND from 1,065 MTM stock investors. Tiep sold MTM shares to two other investors to appropriate 355 million VND. –VNA