FRESNO, CA — Tony Lieng, aka Ung A. Lieng, 38, of Clovis, California was sentenced today to two years and six months in prison for a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders in order to buy houses in Fresno and Mendocino Counties, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The houses were converted into hazardous indoor marijuana cultivation operations.
Lieng pleaded guilty in April of this year. According to court documents, Lieng, who is unemployed, and his companion, Lynn Truong, aka Linh Thi Truong, 40, had conspired with their mortgage broker, Monique Nguyen, aka Monique Dzu Le, 62, of Confidential Investments, a defunct mortgage-brokerage business in Milpitas, to defraud Green Point Mortgage Funding Inc., a mortgage lender, currently owned by Capitol One Bank, by overstating their income and making other false statements in order to obtain a $545,000 loan to purchase a residential property in Willits. The Willits property was converted into a marijuana cultivation operation. Nguyen was also convicted of mortgage fraud and has completed her prison term.
Tony Lieng also admitted that he and his brother, Richard Lieng, 29, of Fresno, were directly involved in growing 856 marijuana plants seized from the Willits property after Lieng and Truong acquired it. In July, Richard Lieng was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for his involvement in the marijuana cultivation operation. Truong is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on October 1, 2012.
Last month, Xi A. “Andy” Lieng, aka A. Xi Lieng, 43, a self-employed produce broker in Fresno, was sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison for serving a leadership role in the marijuana growing operation that netted the seizure of nearly 4,000 marijuana plants in houses in Fresno and Mendocino Counties that had been acquired through mortgage fraud. Three of the houses caught on fire as a result of the unlawful diversion of electricity.
This case is the product of an investigation sponsored by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a focused interagency program investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States. OCDETF leverages the combined expertise of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led the investigation with primary support from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Clovis Police Department, and the Fresno Fire Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Yasin Mohammad are prosecuting the case.