Leader of Property-flipping Scheme and Husband Sentenced in Family Scheme to Conceal Millions in Profits from the Purchase and Sale of Foreclosed Properties

Concealed from IRS Millions of Dollars of Profits Made from “Flipping” Hundreds of Properties Bought at Foreclosure Auctions

October 13, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Minh-Vu Hoang, age 58, of Bethesda, Maryland, today to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee in connection with a scheme to conceal millions in profits earned from the purchase and sale of hundreds of foreclosure properties. Judge Chasanow also sentenced her husband Thanh Hoang, age 65, also of Bethesda, to a year and a day in prison followed by two years of supervised release for conspiracy to impede the IRS in connection with his role in the scheme.

The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; and Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“This was a transparent scheme to defraud the United States,” stated Rebecca Sparkman, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office. “The IRS-Criminal Investigation is proud to be part of the law enforcement team that is having an impact on this criminal activity.”

According to their plea agreements, the Hoangs and other family members purchased property at foreclosure auctions beginning in 1999, and resold some of the properties at a profit. The Hoangs and others deposited and withdrew money from an escrow account for the purchase and sale of properties, and transferred money from the escrow account to business entities they controlled in order to conceal their financial interests in the properties. From 2000 to 2005, the Hoangs and others purchased and sold hundreds of foreclosure properties using the names of their agents or business entities to conceal their involvement in the purchase and sale of the properties, and thereby avoid taxes.

On May 10, 2005, Minh-Vu Hoang filed for bankruptcy in Maryland. She filed several false schedules and a false statement of financial affairs with the bankruptcy court in support of her bankruptcy petition in which she: reported a financial interest in only six properties, knowing that she had an interest in other properties; substantially under-reported the income she earned in 2003 and 2004; and failed to report her interest in various bank accounts.

The court determined today that the tax loss from the fraud was between $2.5 and $7 million. Because the bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing, the court made no separate determination of the bankruptcy loss.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the IRS - Criminal Investigation; Special Investigator Daniel N. Wortman of the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Greenbelt Office of the United States Trustee Program, the Department of Justice agency that supervises bankruptcy cases and trustees, for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys David I. Salem and Emily N. Glatfelter, who prosecuted the case.

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