HANOI, Vietnam – A court in central Vietnam has sentenced seven people for defrauding families of Vietnam War soldiers by moving unidentified war dead into fake graves and claiming to have found their kin.
Presiding Judge Vo Ngoc Mau says Nguyen Van Thuy, 56, was convicted of fraud and infringement on graves and given life in prison. His wife and four relatives received 5 to 23 years in the one-day trial Friday. The remaining defendant was given a one-year suspended sentence for infringement on graves.
Thuy claimed to have paranormal power, and the group cheated $363,000 from a state-owned bank and 12 Vietnamese families by charging a fee to find dead and missing soldiers.
Mau said the group stole remains of soldiers buried in unnamed graves and set up fake graves.