Authorities in Vietnam have charged the former chairman of a support center for impoverished citizens with the stealing millions from investors.
On February 25, Tran Duc Trung, the 58-year-old former chairman of the Hanoi-based Centre for Supporting the Poor — established by the Association of Agricultural Small and Medium-sized Enterprises — was accused of taking 148 billion Dong (US$6.4 million) from more than 1,000 people who invested in a program run by the center, Viet Nam News reported. It was a crime allegedly committed with six accomplices.
Trung and his director-general Le Thi Hang, 56, launched the program “Viet Nam Heart” on April 2015. The scheme offered people high interest in exchange for donations.
People were told they would get a profit six months later, an amount that would be multiplied eight times more than the amount they initially gave the center. Introducing a new member to the program would also get them 500,000 Dong (US$21) per person.
The program then spread throughout 16 provinces across the country and raked in 148 billion Dong.
The Hanoi center was dissolved in December 2015 but Trung and Hang continued other programs similar to “Viet Nam Heart,” luring victims with high-interest rates.
Trung was arrested by the authorities in April 2017.