Vietnam's state media announced that a death sentence has been issued for real estate tycoon Truong My Lan, accused of embezzling $12 billion in the country's biggest financial fraud case. 

According to the country's media, Lan, chairman of real estate developer Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, was found guilty of "embezzlement, bribery and violating banking rules" in the trial in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial center.

The March 5 trial is part of an anti-corruption campaign that ruling Communist Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong has promised for years, but with few tangible results.

Lan's arrest in October 2022 coincides with the start of the country's intensifying anti-corruption movement.

Dubbed the 'Blazing Furnace', it has led to the prosecution and resignation of a number of high-ranking politicians and high-profile corporate executives, including former heads of state. 

Lan and his accomplices are accused of siphoning $12 billion from the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), which he controlled through numerous intermediaries. 

This amounts to 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product.  Investigators say that from early 2018 until October 2022, when the state bailed out SCB after a run on its deposits, Lan arranged illegal loans to shell companies, confiscating huge sums. Lan is expected to appeal the court's decision.

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Meanwhile, Thanh Nien newspaper reported that 84 defendants in the case received sentences ranging from three years' probation to life imprisonment.