The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced tycoon Sok Rathorn to one year in prison for breach of trust after he cheated the daughter of a four-star general out of $2.5 million in a land deal.
Presiding judge Veng Huoth also ordered Rathorn – formerly vice president of the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Chamber of Commerce – to pay a fine of 2 million riel (about $500) and $100,000 in compensation to plaintiff Meas Sopheary, daughter of military deputy commander-in-chief Meas Sophea.
Charges that had also been laid against Rathorn’s wife, Phan Davy, were dropped.
Huoth suggested that in order to recover the $2.5 million, Sopheary would need to file a separate civil suit.
Rathorn was accused of offering up a plot of land as collateral for a $2.5 million loan from Sopheary, which he defaulted on. When he asked for the land title back to officially transfer it to Sopheary, he instead took it to another businessperson and took out another loan, prompting Sopheary to sue.
Rathorn’s lawyer, Hong Chansokha, said yesterday that his “client cannot accept [the verdict], because he has not done anything like that”.