Loan Nguyen booking photo
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has reported the conviction of a 50-year-old woman for defrauding over $200,000 from homeowners offering rooms for rent.
Loan Nguyen would use her age and seemingly endless cash flow by writing checks excessive of the amount actually owed, and later asking for the return of the excess. According to authorities, she claimed — in some cases — that she was on the run from an abusive husband or that she had been through a family tragedy, leading the home owner to return the cash without much question.
She eventually scammed targets out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, using checks she had in fact stolen from other victims.
The fraud began after she had been released from jail in October 2014 for a similar scam, in which Nguyen had answered a series of classified ads of rooms for rent in a local Vietnamese-language newspaper, authorities said. Over the course of the next five months, she was able to scam numerous landlords out of more than $100,000.
The damage created by Nguyen will not only leave scars for future tenants, but has also left one victim with a bankruptcy on their credit report.
On February 12, 2016, Nguyen was found guilty of 21 felonies. Her charges included six counts of first degree burglary with hot prowl allegations, seven counts of grand theft by trick with allegations, two counts of dissuading a witness, and six counts of passing a bad check with allegations. With her one prior strike of first-degree burglary, Nguyen is facing more than 40 years in state prison.