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Alleged million-dollar land scam gets hearing

Alleged million-dollar land scam gets hearing

The trial of a businesswoman accused of orchestrating a fraudulent land sale worth $1.2 million was heard at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Ou Kolly, 53, is accused of selling 100 hectares of land in Kampong Chhnang province that she didn’t own in 2011 and subsequently issuing fraudulent cheques when asked to return the deposit received for the land sale, court officials said.

According to judge You Bunna, Kolly had been handed two charges of fraud.

She was arrested last December after being sued by Eng Meng Heang, the Cambodian-American businessman whom she allegedly defrauded. When Meng Heang asked for the land documents after paying Kolly, it appeared “she had no land and had run off with the money”, Judge Bunna said.

“When the victim demanded his deposit money back, she issued him a total of 14 cheques" that later bounced, he said.

Kolly confessed to the charges yesterday and asked the court to release her.

“I promise I will return all the money,” she said.

Chan Chen, the victim’s defence lawyer, said his client had asked the court to force Kolly to return the $1.2 million he paid her, in addition to $100,000 in compensation.

The verdict will be given on September 17.

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