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Press Release

Sacramento Man Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — David Tran, 36, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to money laundering, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between Oct. 18, 2022, and Jan. 11, 2023, Tran conducted multiple financial transactions involving funds he believed to be proceeds of cocaine trafficking. Tran’s belief was based on representations of a confidential informant working with law enforcement. The transactions involved the confidential informant giving Tran purported trafficking proceeds in cash in exchange for cashier’s checks payable to a fake company. Tran retained 10% of the cash as a commission. In total, the confidential informant gave Tran $90,000 in cash and Tran gave the confidential informant $81,000 in cashier’s checks. Tran engaged in the transactions intending to conceal or disguise the nature and source of the purported drug trafficking proceeds.

As part of his plea agreement, Tran agreed to pay the U.S. Small Business Administration approximately $240,000 as restitution for payments he received based on fraudulent applications for funds under the Paycheck Protection Program.

This case is the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Thuesen is prosecuting the case.

A sentencing date for Tran has not been set.  Tran is scheduled for a status hearing regarding sentencing before U.S. District Judge Daniel J. Calabretta on Aug. 1, 2024. Tran faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Updated April 18, 2024

Financial Fraud