The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday withheld its verdict in the case of alleged fraud against the head of an informal credit association, known as a tontine, instead ordering a reinvestigation into the tontine’s finances and the continued detention of defendant Ream Darin.
Darin, 48, stands accused of mismanaging a group of tontines – informal financial instruments that shareholders pay into in exchange for the privilege of borrowing the seed money for their own uses – but maintained in her trial on December 18 that some shareholders had been late in making payments, which delayed the tontine’s payout.
“I have a home and a career. I had no intention of fraud; I lost more than $100,000 dollars,” she said, adding that the lack of proper documentation made it impossible to tell who she owed and who she had already paid back.
However, the 10 tontine members who filed the complaint against Darin – a complaint seeking more than $100,000 dollars from the defendant – maintained that she had defrauded them out of their money.
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