A former San Jose resident who pleaded guilty last year to defrauding investors of over $1.6 million was sentenced Thursday in federal court in San Jose to 49 months in prison.
Jonathan Vu Hoang, also known as Co Vu Hoang, admitted he created a bogus investment company and defrauded multiple investors by falsely promising them he would invest their money, U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp said in a Thursday announcement.
Hoang had moved to Orange County before his arrest. The sentence was handed down by the U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila.
Hoang pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud. According to his plea agreement, prosecutors said that Hoang, 59, admitted that beginning in June 2017, he devised and implemented a scheme to defraud multiple investors of their money by promising to make investments that would yield significantly high returns. An FBI investigation concluded that Hoang’s scheme continued through May 2019. In this nearly two-year span, Hoang had solicited over $1.6 million from his victims.
Hoang admitted in his plea agreement that he told his victims he was a wealthy and successful businessman and that he had access to special investment opportunities. Hoang created a bogus investment company called Dunamis Global Holdings, Ltd. and asked his victim-investors to sign Subscription Agreements with the company as a means of assuring the victims that he was making legitimate investments on their behalf, prosecutors said.
Hoang also established bank accounts and email accounts to create the appearance of a legitimate investment company, according to the plea. For example, when emailing with his investors, Hoang copied fake Dunamis employees with fake titles. Also, Hoang created email addresses and domain names of others that appeared to belong in prominent firms and companies, such as “@deloittewealthmanagement.com” and “@dlapipercapital.com.”
Hoang used the fabricated email addresses to generate and transmit emails regarding proposed investment opportunities as a means of bolstering the appearance of his legitimacy. Hoang admitted that he obtained at least $1.6 million in funds from his victims and acknowledged that rather than invest any of the funds he received as promised, he spent the funds on his personal expenses and to support his lifestyle.
At sentencing, Davila described Hoang’s conduct as harmful to his community, noting the financial harm and trauma caused to the victims.
“It’s a pity that these victims were preyed upon in the way that they were, and a pity that you know better.,” the judge said. In addition to the prison term, Judge Davila also ordered Hoang to pay a $15,000 fine and restitution and entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $1.5 million. Judge Davila ordered Hoang to begin serving his sentence in August.