A California man was sentenced today to two years in prison and ordered to pay $332,000 in restitution to 35 victims for posing as a lawyer in order to defraud numerous car accident victims who were members of immigrant communities in Northern Virginia and elsewhere.
According to court documents, Tuan Duc Nguyen, 55, of Garden Grove, falsely held himself out to car accident victims and insurance companies alike as a lawyer for over four years. In the course of his scheme, Nguyen told victims he would represent their interests and they would receive settlement proceeds from insurance companies. But instead of disbursing funds to the victims, Nguyen kept the money for himself. Nguyen carried out the scheme by providing false address information to settling insurance companies so that the victims would not learn of the settlement and by signing documents with false signatures. When victims contacted Nguyen to inquire about the status of their claims, Nguyen often deceived them by stating that negotiations were ongoing when, in fact, the claims had already been settled and Nguyen had stolen the money.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dober and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer prosecuted the case.