A supporter of Janet Nguyen's 2012 run for an Orange County Board of Supervisors seat pleaded guilty today to illegally reimbursing her contributors more than $13,000 and was immediately sentenced.
Son Truong Nguyen, 39, of Fountain Valley, copped to 10 misdemeanor counts of unlawful contribution and was sentenced to three years of informal probation and was ordered to contribute $5,000 to Victim Witness Emergency Fund, perform 40 hours of community service in lieu of jail and avoid any political campaigning during the duration of his probation.
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He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine to the General Fund of the State of California within three months to resolve a Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) investigation.
Ten different times between Nov. 2, 2011, and Jan. 30, 2012, Son Nguyen illegally reimbursed campaign contributors to Janet Nguyen, for a total of $13,300. The FPPC and Orange County District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation after the election in which she trounced Steve Rocco.
"We are pleased to present the findings from our joint investigation involving laundered campaign contributions," said FPPC Chief of Enforcement Galena West in a statement. "Working cooperatively with the Orange County District Attorney's Office allows us to combine our resources and expeditiously prosecute violations."
Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) is now a California state senator. Her campaign committee issued a statement this week claiming Son Truong Nguyen is neither a relation nor a personal acquaintance nor a major contributor of the politician. Prosecutors have not identified her as a target of the investigation.