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San Jose Man Pleads Guilty To Impersonating DEA Agent And Securities Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2013

SAN JOSE - Jonathan Hoang, of San Jose, California, pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose on September 16, 2013, to impersonating a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Agent securities fraud, announced 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, in violation of18 U.S.C. § 506(a)(2); Pretending to Be an Officer of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 912; and Possession of a Counterfeit Seal of an Agency of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 506(a)(3). He was also charged in a Superseding Information filed on September 12, 2013, with Securities Fraud in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) and 78ff and 17 C.F.R. §§ 240.10b-5.

Hoang pleaded guilty to all four counts in the Indictment and Superseding Information without a plea agreement with the United States. During the plea hearing, Hoang admitted to the factual basis for the guilty pleas to all charges.

The charges to which Hoang pleaded guilty involving impersonating a DEA Special Agent, are based on the following among other evidence: during the early morning of July 20, 2012, San Jose Police Department Officers found Hoang in a parked truck and discovered law enforcement type equipment in the truck. Upon investigation, the DEA determined that Hoang had indicated to his landlord that he worked for DEA. Hoang also indicated to his landlord that in order to do to his job with the DEA, the landlord could not run a credit check on Hoang. Hoang also provided his landlord with a drug screening report, credit check, and verification of employment from the DEA. The documents Hoang provided to his landlord included documents on purported DEA letterhead containing a DEA seal. In addition, when Hoang was arrested on July 20, 2012, the officers found a counterfeit DEA employee identification card. This document identified “Vu H. Hoang”, “Agent ID# 860501” as a Special Agent of the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. The false Identification card contained a DEA seal and a photograph of Hoang.

Hoang has never been employed as a law enforcement officer with the DEA, nor has he ever been authorized by the DEA to hold himself out as a Special Agent of the DEA.

The charge to which Hoang pleaded guilty involving securities fraud is based on the following among other evidence. On or about November 8, 2012, Hoang sold purported stock to an investor. Hoang offered to the investor 2,500 shares of stock in Utherverse Digital, Inc. that Hoang claimed to own. The investor signed a purported “Subscription Agreement” to document the sale, and gave Hoang a check for $2,500 as the purchase money for the stock. Hoang represented to the investor that Utherverse Digital operated a website called Redlight Center, Utherverse Digital was in the process of being acquired by another company, and the shares of Utherverse Digital would dramatically increase in value after the acquisition. At the time Hoang made these representations, he did not own stock issued by Utherverse Digital. Also, Utherverse Digital was not involved in negotiations with another person or entity for the acquisition of Utherverse Digital. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents found the purchase money check and purported “Subscription Agreement” in Hoang’s car on November 9, 2013, while executing a search warrant.

Hoang has been in custody since November 9, 2012.

Hoang’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 10, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., before The Honorable Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Court Judge, in San Jose. The following are the maximum statutory penalties for each count:

  • 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 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.

However, any 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 prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, the DEA, the San Jose Police Department, and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

(Hoang information )

(Hoang indictment )

 

 

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