Man Jailed for Bribery Gets 5 Years for Fraud

A Cambodian-Australian man incarcerated on bribery charges was on Wednesday sentenced by Phnom Penh Municipal Court to a further five years in prison for defrauding his business partner of $500,000 in an unrelated case.

Judge Ros Piseth said that Uoy Sopheap was guilty of breaching the trust of Peter Holter.

The pair had established Sopheap Peter Development Co. in Banteay Meanchey province in 2011.

“Uoy Sopheap, 69…is charged with breach of trust; he will be jailed for five years and ordered to pay 76 million riel [about $18,750] to Mr. Peter,” Judge Piseth said.

According to lawyer Suy Sokhon, Mr. Sopheap had held a 51 percent share in the $250,000 company.

“[Mr. Holter] claimed that my client committed fraud but the money was used to buy cement mixers, cars, an excavator and other materials,” Mr. Sokhon said.

Outside court, Mr. Sokhon questioned the use of the criminal courts, arguing that his client should have been tried in a civil case.

He plans to file with the Appeal Court. In March, Mr. Sopheap was sentenced to five years for bribing an authorized person to create false documents.

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