|For Immediate Release
Case # 14CF0585
July 1, 2014
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Cell: 714-292-2718Farrah Emami
MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR DEFRAUDING OVER 40 VICTIMS IN $92,000 LOAN MODIFICATION SCHEME
SANTA ANA – A man is scheduled to be arraigned today for defrauding 42 victims of over $92,000 by operating a fraudulent loan modification company. Duy Khac Nguyen, 34, Garden Grove, is charged with 37 felony counts of grand theft, five felony counts of theft from elder, with a sentencing enhancement for property loss over $65,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 33 years and eight months in state prison. He is being held on $90,000 and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Nguyen is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Between February and July 2010, Nguyen is accused of owning and operating a fraudulent loan modification company called HAMP Resources in Garden Grove. He is accused of falsely claiming to be affiliated with the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and obtaining a business license from the City of Garden Grove. The defendant’s business and the federal government’s HAMP are not affiliated in any way.
Nguyen is accused of promising loan modifications to victims and guaranteeing a refund of their money if they were not eligible. He is accused of advertising the business through local television advertisements in Hawaii and in various states through mail flyers and his website.
Nguyen is accused of collecting over $92,000 from 42 victims, who deposited checks to a HAMP Resources business account. The defendant is accused of failing to provide any loan modification services or refunds for the victims. Nguyen is accused of withdrawing the money from the company bank account and depositing it in his personal accounts. He is accused of closing the Garden Grove business, shutting down the website, and moving out of Orange County.
In April 2010, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) received complaints from victims addressed to Nguyen that had been mailed to his former Garden Grove office.
USPIS and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program investigated this case. On June 12, 2014, Nguyen was arrested in Garden Grove by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Garden Grove Police Department.
“Nguyen is charged on 42 counts with swindling struggling homeowners, including the elderly, by falsely claiming that his company ‘HAMP Resources’ was part of the federal government,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for SIGTARP. “He allegedly sold a money-backed guaranteed service to lower homeowners’ mortgage payments and interest rates under TARP’s housing program known as HAMP. He is alleged to have taken the money from his victims, without providing any service, then disconnecting his phone and shutting down his mailbox, website, and bank account while some of his victims lost their homes to foreclosure. SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will aggressively investigate allegations of crime related to TARP.”
“Loan modification scams are proliferating at a rapid pace,” said Pete Zegarac, Inspector in Charge of the USPIS – Los Angeles Division. “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is continuing to investigate and will pursue such criminal activity when the nation’s mail system is used for illegal or dangerous use.”
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office, SIGTARP, and USPIS believes there may be additional victims in this case. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to call Supervising District Attorney Investigator Andy Terhorst at (714) 347-8691.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.