U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton sentenced Bich Quyen Nguyen of San Jose, California to 12 and a half years in prison and ordered her to pay almost $25 million in restitution for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded over 250 investors. A jury found Nguyen guilty of conspiring to commit wire fraud last year.
According to Nguyen’s attorney, his client received less than half of the statutory maximum sentence of thirty years due to mitigating factors, including her age of 60 and that she had been abused and had lived a tough life.
Nguyen had been in custody for over a year while she awaited her sentencing, and her attorney believes she will be released in approximately nine years.
Interestingly, the amount of money lost by investors was charged to be $9.5 million. Judge Staton, however, considered the higher total of almost $25 million during her sentencing.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California, “The evidence presented during a six-day trial showed that Nguyen told victims that she was the chief executive officer of a Swedish credit union that offered guaranteed returns as high as 46.2 percent on one-year certificates of deposit involving at least $1 million.” Nguyen misrepresented to her investors that she made high-speed trades on trading platforms to receive high returns on investments.
Nguyen asserts that she merely acted as a middle-man and transferred investor funds to someone else she believed would invest the funds for the investors. She further claims that she too was a victim of the scheme. The man to which she was referring died before the trial began, and the jury did not believe that she had been conned.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.