San Jose furniture store owner charged with stealing thousands from customers
SANTA CLARA, Calif – According to Vishal Bathija, Deputy District Attorney of the Major Fraud Unit, “The owner of a series of furniture stores has been charged with stealing more than $20,000 from his patrons”. When customers purchased chairs and sofas from Hung Anh “Peter” Troung, they wondered after several days why their purchase was not delivered. It was then customers returned to the store where they had made the purchase, only to discover that the store was closed. There was no sign of the owner, who was thought to have closed his business and left town. However, as part of the scheme, Truong would set up shop and repeat the theft all over again.
Bathija said, “In all, Hung Anh “Peter” Troung opened three furniture stores in San Jose, Gilroy and Vacaville”. Before customers came looking for their purchases, he would close the doors and then head to another location. “The 48-year-old is charged with 10 felonies and a misdemeanor count of theft. He was arrested Wednesday and is out of custody after posting $50,000 bail,” Bathija said.
“Furnishing a home is one of the most basic and major expenses a consumer can make,” prosecutor Vishal Bathija said. “A buyer’s consideration should be based on quality and price, not on whether they will end up losing their money to theft.”
The joint investigation between the Gilroy Police Department and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office revealed that the defendant operated American Furniture in Gilroy from August 2012 to May 2013, and Galaxy Furniture in San Jose from May 2013 to January 2014. The defendant operated the Furniture Outlet in Vacaville from October 2011 to January 2012. At all three businesses, Truong routinely took payments, failed to deliver furniture, and then could not be reached by frustrated customers. All three locations are also listed on Yelp, with consistent 1 star ratings and complaints from former customers.
The investigation also revealed that some customers were also victims of a “bait and switch,” where one model of furniture was purchased and the defendant would deliver a cheaper model. Truong would refuse requests to correct the order.
Troung is expected to be arraigned at 9:00 a.m. on September 19 in the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 9 years in prison.
Consumers that believe they are victims of American Furniture in Gilroy or Galaxy Furniture in San Jose can file a complaint with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office by calling the prosecutor at (408) 792-2970.