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Home blog White Collar Crimes Board Members of Southern California Vietnamese student organization let go after embezzlement investigation

Board Members of Southern California Vietnamese student organization let go after embezzlement investigation

By Michael Guisti on May 5, 2015

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.

White collar crimes charges are a serious matter that can lead to years in prison, heavy fines, and financial penalties. They can also destroy a career and reputation that took a lifetime to build. In addition to the legal penalties, someone who has been convicted of fraud, theft, or embezzlement can also face the loss of their professional license, severely impeding their ability to earn a livelihood. This is why it is so important to have an Orange County criminal defense lawyer on your side when you’ve been charged with a crime.

At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we know what’s at stake for our clients and we do everything in our power to make sure that they don’t have to serve time in prison or pay extortionate fines. We’ve successfully defended clients against charges of fraud, domestic violence, extortion, murder, assault with a deadly weapon, theft, and sexual assault. Over the past 16 years, we’ve built up an impressive record of having criminal charges reduced or dismissed in Orange County’s state and federal courthouses.

When you come to our firm, your case will receive the kind of individual attention that it needs to be successful. For most people, criminal charges can be one of the most difficult trials they will face in their life, and our team of dedicated legal professionals will do everything in their power to make the process easier for you. You’ll still have your business and personal obligations to deal with, but we can help you tackle your legal issues.

We’re proud of the work we’ve done helping people from all over Southern California, and we’ve been able to expand our practice to include offices in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Newport Beach and Irvine. As part of our commitment to providing the best possible service to the diverse local population, we also offer foreign language assistance as needed.

So if you’ve been charged with a crime in Southern California, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation.


“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.

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