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Man Pleads Guilty to Impersonating DEA Agent And Securities Fraud

SEP 18 (SAN JOSE, Calif.) – Jonathan Hoang, of San Jose, California, pleaded guilty in Federal court on September 16, 2013, to charges of impersonating a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent and Securities Fraud, announced Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and United States Attorney Melinda Haag.

Hoang, 48, was indicted on July 25, 2012, by Federal grand jury charging him with Use of a Counterfeit Seal of an Agency of the United States;  Pretending to Be an Officer of the United States; and Possession of a Counterfeit Seal of an Agency of the United States.  He was also charged with Securities Fraud in a Superseding Information filed on September 12, 2013.

Hoang pleaded guilty to all four counts in the Indictment and the Superseding Information.  During the hearing, Hoang admitted to the factual basis for his guilt in all of the charges.

The charges of impersonating a DEA Special Agent were based on the following evidence: on July 20, 2012, San Jose Police Department Officers arrested Hoang in possession of law enforcement type equipment, including a counterfeit DEA identification.  This false document identified Hoang as a special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Subsequent investigation revealed Hoang pretended to be a DEA special agent when applying to rent a house in San Jose, provided the landlord with fictitious documents supporting his employment with DEA, and under false pretenses caused his landlord not to run his credit report.

According to a Complaint filed in this case, Hoang has never been employed by the DEA, but did apply for employment and was not hired.

The Securities Fraud charge was based on the following evidence: in November 2012, under false pretenses, Hoang entered into an agreement to sell a company’s stock that he did not possess or own; falsely represented that the company was in the process of being acquired and; that the stock’s value would dramatically increase after the company’s acquisition.

Hoang is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila on December 10, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., in San Jose, California.  Hoang’s sentence will be imposed by the Court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  The maximum statutory penalties for each count are:

Count One of the Indictment: 18 U.S.C. § 506(a)(2) – Use of a Counterfeit Seal of an Agency of the United States.  Statutory Penalties: a maximum prison sentence of five years, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum period of supervised release of three years, and a $100 special assessment.

Count Two of the Indictment: 18 U.S.C. § 912 – Pretending to Be an Officer of the United States.  Statutory Penalties: a maximum prison sentence of three years, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum period of supervised release of one year, and a $100 special assessment.

Count Three of the Indictment: 18 U.S.C. § 506(a)(3) – Possession of a Counterfeit Seal of an Agency of the United States.  Statutory Penalties:  a maximum prison sentence of five years, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum period of supervised release of three years, and a $100 special assessment.

Count One of the Superseding Information: 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) and 78ff and 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5  – Securities Fraud.  Statutory Penalties:  a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, a maximum fine of $5,000,000, a maximum period of supervised release of three years, and a $100 special assessment.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Colthurst and was the result of an investigation conducted by the DEA, the FBI, the IRS and the San Jose Police Department.


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