Garden Grove, CA — Following a lengthy internal investigation, a local Vietnamese student association has let two of its senior officers go and reported $118,000 in embezzlement to the Garden Grove Police Department.
According to the Union of the Vietnamese Student Associations, which sponsored this year’s Tet celebration in Costa Mesa, now former President Nina Tran and Treasurer Helen Nguyen were removed from the non-profit group’s executive board on May 3rd. Their removal followed an investigation into alleged fraud and embezzlement by Tran and Nguyen between November 2012 and November 2014. This investigation began when a financial review revealed irregular purchases made by Tran with a debit card linked to the Tet Festival bank account
The investigation concluded that Tran and Nguyen were responsible for the unauthorized use of roughly $118,000 of the organization’s charitable funds. Although the organization was able to recover more than $33,000, $85,000 is still missing. It is believed that Tran misappropriated about $103,000 and that Nguyen was responsible for the remaining $15,000. The Garden Grove PD has confirmed that a report had been filed but did not comment on the matter.
The UVSA represents a number of high school and collegiate Vietnamese student groups from around Southern California.
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“Internal investigation exposes possible fraud, theft, and embezzlement by President Nina Tran and Treasurer Helen Nguyen; USVA files report with local police and removes both from office.” http://www.uvsa.org/blog/2015/05/04/internal-investigation-exposes-possible-fraud-theft-and-embezzlement-by-president-nina-tran-and-treasurer-helen-nguyen-uvsa-files-report-with-local-police-and-removes-both-from-office/. The Union of the Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern California. 4 May 2015.
Kopetman, Roxana. “Costa Mesa’s Tet Festival sponsor says leaders stole $118,000.” http://www.ocregister.com/articles/uvsa-660592-monday-tet.html. Orange County Register. 5 May 2015.