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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Three California Men Indicted For Nationwide Conspiracy To Commit Identity, Bank, And Wire Fraud

WILLIAMSPORT – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Williamsport indicted three California men on November 12, 2015, charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and fraud in connection with identification documents in an alleged nationwide scheme to defraud five banks and over 40 jewelry stores, including stores in State College and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. 

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the new Indictment is the result of a continuing investigation. The indictment alleges that Thung Van Huynh, age 46, Tung Thanh Doan, age 48, and John Quangchoang Nguyen, age 55, used counterfeit California driver’s licenses to purchase and attempt to purchase Rolex, Omega, and Breitling watches from the victim jewelry stores throughout the United States.  The watches are allegedly valued at approximately $528,614.

The indictment charges that the conspirators submitted fraudulent applications for loans and credit, totaling approximately $463,400, using the counterfeit driver’s licenses. The victims include a jewelry store in State College and another one in State College, in addition to 25 individual identity theft victims and five financial institutions.  At the time of the alleged offenses, Thung Van Huynh and John Quangchoang Nguyen were residents of Garden Grove, California, and Tung Thanh Doan was a resident of Stanton, California.

The indictment was unsealed yesterday following the arrests and initial appearances of Huynh and Doan before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion.  Nguyen’s initial appearance was held February 9, 2016.

Another alleged participant in the conspiracy and scheme to defraud, Phil Nguyen, was previously indicted and entered a guilty plea to wire fraud. Nguyen is awaiting sentencing before United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton.

The federal investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Police Departments of Patton Township and Hampden Township, and the Jeweler’s Security Alliance.  Assistant United States Attorney George J. Rocktashel has been assigned to the prosecution of the case.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the sentencing judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 30 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the sentencing judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Updated March 24, 2016