Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Four-year-old fraud case back in municipal court

Four-year-old fraud case back in municipal court

Cambodian-American businessman San Richer (center) is led away by prison guards after his hearing at the Appeal Court in 2014.
Cambodian-American businessman San Richer (center) is led away by prison guards after his hearing at the Appeal Court in 2014. Kim Sarom

Four-year-old fraud case back in municipal court

The trial of Cambodian-American businessman San Richer and three others accused of defrauding a local businesswoman out of a $1 million investment in 2012 resumed yesterday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The complainant, Eng Lykuong, had alleged she invested $1 million in a rice venture called AKRA in return for a position on its board of directors, but was never appointed and never saw her money again.

Apart from Richer, Siv Sichan, a former US ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council, as well as American businessmen Thomas Willems and William Nojay were named as co-conspirators. Earlier this month, Nojay, who was a New York state assemblyman, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At yesterday’s hearing, Lykuong produced news clips of Nojay’s death, claiming that his apparent suicide was related to her case. “He had other cases of $2 billion, including the $1 million in Cambodia. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working on these cases,” she said.

Following his death, American news outlets reported that Nojay was under FBI scrutiny for a $1.3 billion school modernisation program in New York.

Lykuong added that the quartet functioned as an “organised group”, and had planned to defraud her from the onset.

However, a defence lawyer for Richer, Kheng Ly, refuted Lykuong’s allegations, claiming AKRA was still operational as of November 2015 and Lykuong was indeed a board member.

But court prosecutor Che Song maintained there was enough evidence to convict the four men of fraud, with judge Svay Tonh saying the hearing would resume October 20.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The