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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Former Essex Junction Woman, Tammy Nguyen, Convicted In Federal Court For Defrauding State’s Vermont Health Access Program And Filing A False Tax Return

Eugenia A.P. Cowles, the Acting United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, stated that Tammy Nguyen, 35, of Naples, Florida (formerly of Essex Junction, Vermont), was sentenced today by Chief United States District Court Judge Christina Reiss, to one year of probation, restitution of approximately $41,000.00, and a fine of $10,000.00. 

          According to Court records, Tammy Nguyen, then employed by the Social Security Administration in Burlington, Vermont, submitted applications for health insurance coverage to the Vermont’s Vermont Health Access Program (VHAP), a program designed for low income Vermonters.  Over the course of several years, she submitted applications including false statements regarding her income, child care costs, and other items.  Nguyen also drafted and submitted, on Social Security Administration letterhead, a fraudulent letter to VHAP, stating that her income was less than her actual income. As a result, Nguyen paid far less than market rates for health care coverage through VHAP. 
Nguyen also made private loans to members of the local Vietnamese community at exorbitant interest rates and did not report the interest income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  She submitted false tax returns to the IRS.  Further, Nguyen concealed from the Burlington Housing Authority, the fact that her domestic partner, Tam Lai, was living with her at Hillside Terrace, in Burlington, Vermont, for a number of years and, thus, she paid less rent than was actually due. As part of the resolution of the criminal case, she voluntarily agreed to pay restitution to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in connection with public housing fraud.

          Nguyen was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 27, 2014 for making false statements in connection with a welfare benefit plan. The grand jury handed down a Superseding Indictment on July 15, 2015 that added a charge of conspiring to defraud HUD.   On November 25, 2014, Nguyen pled guilty to filing a false tax return and to welfare benefit fraud.  She was released on her own recognizance pending sentencing.

            This case was investigated by the Federal Protective Service, the IRS, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, the United States Secret Service, and by HUD.  Acting United States Attorney Cowles commends those agencies for their work.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy J. Creswell.  The defendant was represented by Attorney Mark Kaplan

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Updated June 22, 2015