Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted a 59-year-old businessman of fraud, sentencing him to nine months in prison on top of an 18-month sentence he is already serving.
Presiding Judge Ros Piseth said Oeu Oeun, 59, committed the fraud between 2013 and 2015 and was arrested in September 2016.
He was sued by Hok Cheavin, 45, a luxury timber businessman from Phnom Penh, he added.
“The court decided to convict him to nine months in prison,” Judge Piseth said. “The court orders him to pay a total of $3,522,480 in damages and another $50,000 in compensation to the plaintiff in case.”
During the trial in July, Mr Cheavin told the court that he met the accused in 2012 through a Chinese business partner.
He said he hired Mr Oeun to help him with his timber business because his Chinese friend trusted him.
He said he entrusted Mr Oeun with applying for timber permits for his business because he knew many high-ranking officials. He paid him $3,522,480 for the aid.
“But since I paid him the money, he never produced a timber export license or any other related documents from the authorities for me as he promised,” he said. “He cheated me, and when I demanded my money back, he did not repay me.”
Mr Oeun denied the accusations, but noted that he was hired to get a license for about $1,000,000 and failed to do so because he was blocked by the government.
He claimed he refused to pay back the money because Mr Cheavin was demanding more than what was paid to him.
Mr Oeun had already been convicted by the court and sentenced to 18 months in prison in July over a separate case of fraud and issuing a bad cheque.
That case involved the Chinese friend who linked him up with Mr Cheavin.