DA Charges Fountain Valley Man With Money Laundering for Nguyen Campaign

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has charged a Fountain Valley man with money laundering for Republican State Sen. Janet Nguyen’s 2012 campaign for county supervisor.

On 10 different occasions between November 2011 and the end of January 2012, Son Truong Nguyen, 38, allegedly reimbursed a total of $13,300 to people who contributed to Nguyen’s 2012 election campaign committee, according to a press release from the DA’s office.

He is being charged with 10 misdemeanor counts of unlawful contribution and faces a maximum sentence of a $10,000 fine and one year in jail.

The charges against Son Nguyen are part of an ongoing investigation by both the DA’s office and the state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) into potential political money laundering by the campaign committee.

View all the DA’s charges against Son Nguyen.

Last year the FPPC subpoenaed 11 donors to the 2012 committee for financial, phone and communication records, but had to appear before an Orange County Superior Court judge last October when the donors hired an attorney in an attempt to block the subpoenas.

Of those 11 donors, Son Nguyen reimbursed at least two: Vinh Phuoc Du for $1,500 and Troy Thang Nguyen, for contributions worth $1,500 and $1,300, respectively, according to the DA’s complaint. He also reimbursed Troy Nguyen another $1,000 through his Garden Grove-based CD and DVD rental store, Mickie Music.

Son Nguyen also illegally reimbursed Susan Nguyen ($1,400), Thanh Nguyen ($1,500), Michael Nguyen ($1,300) and Helen Nguyen ($1,500), according to the complaint.

The subpoenaed donors also include former Westminster city councilman Tony Lam, a political ally of Sen. Nguyen, (R-Garden Grove). Six donors to the committee have admitted to being illegally reimbursed, according to documents submitted by the FPPC to the court.

And the court documents cite evidence showing patterns of contributions from individuals with the same home address and employer; misreported addresses, occupation and employer information; and individuals listed as ‘unemployed’ or ‘student’ giving significant amounts of money.

The subpoenas were granted and the FPPC investigation is ongoing.

Sen. Nguyen has defended the large numbers of unemployed people contributing to her campaign in the past by saying that her own grassroots background and the nature of her heavily immigrant district has required her to rely on smaller contributions, rather than deep-pocketed donors, for fundraising.

Son Nguyen will be arraigned on Nov. 24 at 8:30 a.m. in Superior Court, courtroom C-54, at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.


  • Jacki Livingston

    Now…would anyone like to know where all that money came from? A nursing home chain with roots in Garden Grove paid Janet Nguyen payouts from illegally obtained funds from the state and from comatose and paralyzed patients on life support. I, personally, saw a quarter of a million dollars stolen, before the County forced me out. I mean, did anyone ever find out what happened to her million dollar slush fund she had when she was on the board at CalOptima? And, would it surprise anyone to know that the attorney for the nursing home chain of crooks was a huge donor to Nguyen, along with his wife? Oh, and they donated to Spitzer and Bates. Aren’t public records FUN? *skips off whistling*

  • Ed Romero

    I always said Dirty Janet couldn’t be trusted. What I don’t understand is how so many Asians voted for her when she is a Political Alley of Tony Lam. Remember the expense to the City of Westminster, during all those demonstrations back then. I was training to be a Poll Volunteer, I went through the training. I was shocked to say the least when I saw that there are 1000’s and 1,000’s of individual Voters all with the same Surname NGUYEN. I asked the Trainer how do you know if these Voters all with the same Surname are truly qualified to Vote and he replied “you don’t”. I brother went back to Vietnam 4 or 5 times to fight the Communist, he’s dead now, I guess you can say the joke on him “right Dirty Janet”.

  • Paul Lucas

    I think we should be able to elect the Public Defender as a stop gap to the DA.

  • octaxpayer

    Guess another individual takes the fall.

  • Bill

    Note that the FPPC took the lead in investigating this matter, not the DA. This is why OC needs an Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.

    • David Zenger

      No, that’s why OC needs an honest, non-political DA. This was never a proper issue for the FPPC to investigate.

      This episode has nothing to do with ethics. It has to do with crime.

    • I am curious what ever happened to that big Federal Investigation of corruption in Orange County? Remember that one a year or so ago where the FBI was working with the “co-operation” of the (ha ha) DA (t-rack).

      Oh wait, all they cared about was getting that damn democrat from Whittier….

      • Jacki Livingston

        The feds interviewed me. I offered them the emails and documents, and they said they would get back to me for them. They are stilli n my house…waiting.

  • Shirley L. Grindle

    I remember sending a written Complaint to DA Rackauckas in which I described potential money laundering to Sheriff Mike Carona. Rackauckas never responded to that Complaint nor did he conduct any kind of investigation to see if my allegations rang true. Years later, during Mike Carona’s trial, the FBI verified the laundered contributions which amounted to $40,000 – which was never returned nor was anyone prosecuted due to the Statute of Limitations. Thanks to DA Rackaucas’ selective prosecution mentality, Carona and the individuals who participated in the money laundering scheme got away with it.

  • David Zenger

    Wow, that took long enough. Long enough for Nguyen, corruption personified, to move on.

  • Paul Lucas

    Misdemeanors? This is why we cant have nice things.