Yesterday the feds punished Tina Tran, the Little Saigon criminal mastermind featured in a recent OC Weekly story, with a light sentence to fit her 4-foot-8 stature. Tran received a three year prison sentence--relatively soft considering she faced up to 25 years.
In 2005, federal officials accused Tran of trying to bring at least 70 Vietnamese and Chinese nationals to the U.S. in fake marriage schemes. She initially posed innocent. After many of her cohorts pleaded guilty, she changed her plea. According to federal court records, Tran charged $30,000 to $60,000 per person who wanted illegal entrance into the country. Officials said Tran's wedding scam included posing for fake wedding pictures, fabricating love letters and filing fraudulent joint tax returns.
The Orange County District Attorney's office has a pending case against Tran. They've charged her with 105 felonies for allegedly operating a national ID theft ring from a tiny Little Saigon rental house that stole millions of dollars from businesses.
Her favorite targets? Exclusive stores at Fashion Island in Newport Beach or South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Prosecutors have won convictions against more than 20 of her underlings in this case, but Tran has pleaded not guilty.