Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a woman to three years in prison after finding her guilty of cheating the daughter of a CPP official out of more than US$1 million, as well as forging private documents.
Oeung Rithea, 39, was arrested in April following a complaint filed to the Ministry of Interior by Chea Chamroeun, a CPP representative in Kandal province and the dean of the Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology.
The complaint accused Oeung Rithea of not repaying the $1,090,500 Chea Chamroeun’s family lent to her to invest in six markets in Takeo, Kampong Chhnang, Kampot and Kratie provinces, and spending an unspecified amount of the funds on purchasing a house and other items for herself.
She was also charged with forging the thumbprint of Chap Bun Ravy, Chea Chamroeun’s daughter and co-director of a new market in Kratie, in a letter which stated that Chap Bun Ravy would attend a meeting regarding the market and which she submitted to the director of the provincial financial department.
Presiding Judge Kor Vandy ordered the accused to repay the amount in full to the three complainants: Chea Chamroeun, his daughter Chap Bun Ravy and Hang Borey.
He also ordered the accused to pay an additional $400,000 in compensation combined to the three complainants.
Defence lawyer Kea Chhay called the verdict “unjust”.
“We are not satisfied with the verdict, which imprisons my client on charges that aren’t penalty crimes,” he said.
“It stemmed from borrowed money, which is a civil case, and the forging of a private document which did not harm anyone’s benefits.”
He added: “I am waiting to hear my client’s final decision on whether or not to count on me to appeal the conviction for her.”