Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a woman and her son-in-law accused of cheating nine people out of more than $20,000 in financial deals.
Deputy prosecutor Soeun Monirath identified them as Buth Son 65, general director of Cambodia Natural Herbs Enterprise of Mangorom, and her 47-year-old son-in-law Bung Pheng, general manager at the same company.
Mr Monirath said they were charged with fraud after nine people filed a joint complaint against them on November 28 last year. The two accused are out on bail and face between six months to three years in jail if convicted.
Mr Monirath noted that between 2015 and 2016, Ms Son and Mr Pheng advertised a search for business partners to join their company.
In the advertisement, the two accused claimed a 50 percent monthly profit rate for investment deals starting from $200 to $7,500.
Mr Monirath said the two accused managed to find interested members, some of whom borrowed money to invest.
“In the first two months, the accused delivered the profit rates as promised,” Mr Monirath said. “But afterward, they did not pay them.”
“In this case, in the name of the court prosecutor, I say that the two accused have cheated the victims,” he added. “Therefore, I suggest that the judge punish them in accordance with the law so that they will not do it again in the future.”
During yesterday’s hearing, the two accused denied the allegations. However, they admitted that they received money from the victims.
The two accused told the court that the reason they did not pay the interests to the victims as promised was because the victims did not adhere to the company’s policies and guidelines.
They added that according to company policy, members must recommend the company’s products to others and find new people to buy the products.
They added that since the victims became members of the company, they became lazy and did not find new buyers.
They requested the court to drop the charge.
A verdict is due on September 11.