|For Immediate Release
April 20, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
FOURTH DEFENDANT ARRESTED FOR ROLE IN SCHEME STEALING $240,000 FROM 78-YEAR-OLD MAN BY NOTARIZING FORGED DOCUMENTS
NEWPORT BEACH – A fourth defendant was arrested yesterday for her role in a scheme to steal $240,000 from a 78-year-old man by notarizing forged documents. Veronica Hernandez, 29, Santa Ana, is charged with two felony counts of perjury by declaration and faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison if convicted. Hernandez is out of custody on $25,000 bail and an arraignment date and Department are to be determined.
Co-defendants Jason Chang, 31, and wife, Veronica Chang, 31, both of Santa Ana, are each charged with five felony counts of forgery, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of a making false financial statement, three felony counts of grand theft, three felony counts of grand theft auto, two felony counts of recording false or forged instrument, two felony counts of perjury by declaration, and one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, fraudulently using access card, and second degree burglary. They face sentencing enhancements and allegations for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, property damage over $65,000, and loss over $200,000, and $100,000. If convicted, they each face a maximum sentence of 24 years and four months in state prison. The defendants are each being held on $200,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal legitimate source before posting bond. They are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing April 26, 2011, in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
Co-defendant Ly Diem Nguyen, 30, Garden Grove, is charged with one felony count of perjury of declaration and faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison if convicted. She is out of custody on $25,000 bail and an arraignment date and Department are to be determined.
In March 2006, Veronica Chang and her husband Jason Chang are accused of forging documents pertaining to Veronica Chang’s father, Luis G.’s, power of attorney, home ownership, and loans. In February 2007, Veronica Chang is accused of contacting two notaries, Hernandez and Nguyen, whom she had met previously through work. Hernandez and Nguyen are accused of knowingly notarizing the fraudulent forms provided by Jason and Veronica Chang without the legally required presence and knowledge of the victim, Luis G. The Changs are also accused of stealing the victim’s identity to apply for and receive credit cards in his name.
In March 2007, Veronica and Jason Chang are accused of opening two bank accounts in Luis G.’s name and depositing the refinanced home funds. The Changs are accused of spending over $240,000 from these accounts to finance personal luxuries including purchasing two cars and paying off personal credit cards. Veronica Chang, who worked in the real estate industry, is accused of telling Luis G. that his home had been legally refinanced and the equity procured would be deposited into one of two bank accounts.
In November 2007, the victim went to withdraw money from one of the accounts set up by the defendants. The bank informed Luis G. that his account was empty. The victim reported the theft to police.
Upon further investigation by Irvine Police Department (IPD), Nguyen and the Changs were arrested April 15, 2011.