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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index
    Release No. 10-090

    June 8, 2010

    FORMER L.A. COUNTY WORKER ARRESTED IN IDENTITY THEFT, TAX SCHEME THAT SOUGHT NEARLY $2 MILLION FROM IRS

    A former employee with the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services has been arrested on federal charges contained in a 22-count indictment that alleges he used personal identifying information obtained from indigent DSS clients to file tax returns that fraudulently sought nearly $2 million from the Internal Revenue Service.

    Trang Van Dinh, 62, of Glendale, who worked as an eligibility worker and home interviewer for DSS for about a decade and was responsible for a large caseload of county residents seeking various forms of public assistance, was arrested Monday afternoon at Los Angeles International Airport after returning from a trip to Vietnam.

    Dinh is expected to make his first court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.

    A federal grand jury indicted Dinh on April 8, charging him with 11 counts of making false claims to the United States and 11 counts of identity theft, charges that cumulatively carry a maximum statutory sentence of 220 years in federal prison.

    The investigation determined that Dinh used the names, social security numbers and other identifying information that belonged to more than 150 individuals in his caseload to prepare fraudulent tax returns. Dinh filed the returns electronically and sought to have tax refunds sent directly to bank accounts he controlled. The more than 150 fraudulent tax returns sought approximately $1.9 million in refunds from the IRS, which paid approximately $1 million of the fraudulent claims. While bank officials were able to freeze some of the funds before they were withdrawn, the IRS estimates that Dinh acquired approximate $650,000 in fraudulent refunds.

    The tax fraud and identity theft case was investigated by IRS - Criminal Investigation. Dinh was arrested at LAX by special agents with IRS - Criminal Investigation and officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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    Release No. 10-090

    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index