Hoang Quoc Tathanhlong,
49, of Westminster, lied about being a certified financial planner while working at a funeral home and stealing more than $650,000
from a widow through fake investments before using the money for his own personal expenses, including buying himself a Mercedes-Benz, prosecutors allege.
They fear there may be other victims of Tathanhlong, who was being held on $670,000 bail awaiting his continued arraignment this morning in Santa Ana. If he is convicted of the charges against him, he could get up to 15 years in the pokey, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office statement, which follows after the jump.
December 27, 2010
MAN IN COURT FOR STEALING OVER $650,000 FROM WIDOW FOR FAKE INVESTMENTS TO SPEND ON PERSONAL EXPENSES
SANTA ANA – A man was in court today for stealing over $650,000 from a
widow by lying about being a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and
spending her investments on personal expenses. Hoang Quoc Tathanhlong,
49, Westminster, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft and
two felony counts of using an untrue statement in the purchase or sale
of a security with sentencing enhancements and allegations for property
loss over $200,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and
loss over $100,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15
years in state prison. Tathanhlong is being held on $670,000 bail and
the defendant must prove the money is from a legal source before posting
bond. He is scheduled for a continued arraignment Jan. 21, 2010, at 10
a.m. in Department C-J1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
In November 2007, Tathanhlong is accused of meeting the victim,
41-year-old Tanya H., a recently widowed mother of five, while working
as a funeral planning representative at a Buddhist temple in
Westminster. The victim was making funeral arrangements for a friend.
The defendant is accused of lying to Tanya H. that he was a CFP employed
by TD Ameritrade and giving the victim his fake business card.
Shortly after meeting, Tathanhlong is accused of telling Tanya H. to
transfer $240,000 to an account in the defendant's name to invest in a
low-risk Certificate of Deposit (CD), which would accrue interest over a
3-year period. On Nov. 23, 2007, the victim transferred the money,
which was the proceeds from her husband's life insurance policy.
In April 2008, Tathanhlong is accused of falsely telling Tanya H. that
he was Chief Investment Officer of TD Ameritrade and to invest another
$500,000 with his company. He is accused of directing the victim to take
equity from her home to obtain the investment funds. On April 14, 2008,
Tathanhlong is accused of instructing Tanya H. to wire the $390,000 she
took out in equity to an account in name of the defendant and his wife.
Tathanhlong is accused offering a fictitious $100,000 loan to cover the
difference for the $500,000 investment. In August 2008, the defendant
is accused of receiving two cash payments totaling $40,000 from the
victim as reimbursement for the fake loan.
Tathanhlong is accused of spending Tanya H.'s $240,000 safe CD
investment in day trading and the victim's $390,000 investment on
personal expenses including a Mercedes Benz.
In late August 2008, the defendant is accused of suggesting that Tanya
H. sell property she owned in northern California and invest the funds
through him. The victim consulted her sister about the potential
investment, who became suspicious and accompanied Tanya H. to the Irvine
Police Department (IPD) to file a report. IPD investigated the case.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a
victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney
Investigator Ron Frazier at (714) 347-8691 or Irvine Police Detective
Jonathan Sampson (949) 724-7179.
Deputy District Attorney Jan Christie of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.