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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 15, 2021

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to $1.5 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

Admits Defrauding KC Brothers, Who Also Pleaded Guilty to Fraud Scheme

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Houston, Texas, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to defrauding two Kansas City-area brothers who have also been convicted in the investment fraud scheme.

Duc Nguyen, also known as “Doug,” 57, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to one count of wire fraud.

By pleading guilty today, Nguyen admitted that he engaged in a fraud scheme from April 2018 to August 2019 in which he proposed an opportunity for high net worth individuals to invest in the purchase, refurbishing, and sale of used oil equipment. He told Phillip Hudnall of Lenexa, Kansas, and his brother, Brian Hudnall, of Kansas City, Missouri, that profit from these transactions would be three to five times the amount of the investment. Brian and Phillip Hudnall raised money from investors based upon these representations from Nguyen.

For example, Brian Hudnall wire transferred $415,000 to Nguyen between May 3 and Sept. 19, 2018, for the purchase, refurbishment, and shipping of the oil equipment. Brian Hudnall wire transferred an additional $80,000 to Nguyen on Feb. 26, 2019. Phillip Hudnall transferred $1,075,000 to Nguyen between April 15 and June 17, 2019, for the purchase, refurbishment, and shipping of the oil equipment.

Nguyen admitted that he did not use any of the monies for the purchase, refurbishment, and shipment of used oil equipment, but instead spent the money on personal expenses.

Phillip and Brian Hudnall pleaded guilty in June 2020, in separate but related cases, to their roles in the investment fraud scheme and await sentencing.

Phillip Hudnall told investors that his company, BirdDog Business Group, LLC, had completed two successful transactions – a $244,000 loan and a $490,000 loan, both of which had been repaid with an interest rate of 30 percent. In fact, no prior completed transactions occurred and no monies were received from the sale of any oil equipment including any principal or interest. To support the false claim, Phillip Hudnall requested that Brian Hudnall create documents as proof of the prior successfully completed transactions. Brian Hudnall wrote two checks on the bank account of his business, DonDon LLC, which was closed. Brian Hudnall also created a fraudulent memorandum to support the false claim.

Phillip Hudnall told investors their funds would be used to purchase specific pieces of oil equipment for refurbishment and resale. Persons invested approximately $3.6 million for the purpose of purchasing specific pieces of oil equipment. Phillip Hudnall and another person also obtained a loan from a bank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for approximately $1.3 million to finance the oil equipment scheme. Most of the money raised from investors, however, was spent on personal expenses.

Under federal statutes, Nguyen is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. They were investigated by the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated July 15, 2021