Tri Van Nguyen
SANTA CLARA COUNTY — An ID thief ring mastermind was sentenced on June 27, 2016 to 17 years in prison for his act of stealing multiple victims’ identities.
According to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, “Tri Van Nguyen was sentenced by the Hon. Socrates Manoukian following his plea to 87 felony counts earlier this year.”
Tri Van Nguyen, 47 and three other suspects were thought to have stolen more than a $500,00 from more than 60 victims.
Evidence found at Nguyen’s home led to the discovery of the three other suspects working in an extensive ID theft “factory” at a North San Jose apartment complex. It was also revealed that a $100-dollar bill counterfeiting operation was taking place inside the residence. Several printers at the apartment were being used to make fake IDs, along with the printing of counterfeit $100 bills.
“These were not people shoplifting from a grocery store to feed themselves,” prosecutor Vishal Bathija said. “This was a destructive, extensive, and obscene money grab.”
Two of the suspects, Ha Van Nguyen, 38, and Mai Hoang, 36, had been previously sentenced to 29 years 8 months and 17 years 8 months in prison following their plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office. The third suspect, 30-year-old Kent Do, was sentenced to probation for 10 years after evidence showed that he did not have a significant role in the thefts.
According to Bathija, “The ID thieves used a wide variety of techniques to steal identities, including residential and auto burglaries, mail theft, culling information from obituaries, even starting a fake company on the web called nguyenantithievemailprevention.com.”
The investigation revealed that the suspects had bought luxury cars, electronics, and ammunition for a firearm. The evidence also showed that the apartment that the suspects were using as their ID theft factory had been rented through using a stolen identity.
The take down of the suspects was the result of multiple law enforcement agencies, including the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspector, the Department of Motor Vehicles Investigative Division, and Detective Brian Pettis of the San Jose Police Department.