The Little Saigon businessman arrested in a loan-sharking scheme that allegedly used a Westminster Police Department officer as the enforcer against a bikini coffee shop owner for 60 percent annual interest has pleaded guilty.
After originally claiming innocence, Kevin Khanh Tuan Do admitted less than a week before a scheduled trial that he's guilty of a federal crime--lying to thwart FBI agents investigating the loan-sharking operation with surveillance and wiretapping.
According to the June 13 plea deal, the government will drop other charges while Do acknowledges that on August 30, 2013, he "knowingly and willfully made a materially false" statement denying his loan activities.
Do--a Fountain Valley resident known to have police and political connections by being generous with food and cocktails--must personally declare his guilt to U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, who can accept or reject the deal.
The statutory maximum punishment for the violation is five years in prison, but given Do's decision to save the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) valuable resources at a trial, he'll likely receive leniency at a future sentencing hearing inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
The development prompted DOJ to seek postponement of this week's trial against Do's co-defendant, Westminster cop Anthony Duong Donner, until June 15, 2015.
Though Donner--who the FBI accuses of using his police job and equipment to harass Hanh Le, the alleged loan sharking victim--is in agreement with the delay, Judge Carter makes all trial date rulings.
Last week, the Weekly reported that Do wanted pre-trial assurances that his close, personal associations with Westminster City Councilman Andy Quach and former councilman Tyler Diep would be blocked from disclosure.
Le--who claims on duty Westminster police harassed her, her employees and customers with their obnoxious intrusions on behalf of Do--has filed a separate civil lawsuit against the loan shark, Donner as well as police chief Kevin Baker and officers Timothy Vu and Phuong Pham.
Though named in the lawsuit, there is no evidence yet I'm aware of that Baker was directly involved in any wrongdoing against Le.
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The civil case is scheduled for a week trial in October 2015.