TOP-SECRET from the FBI – Two Men Arrested for Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

SAN FRANCISCO—A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Ngoc Duong, a/k/a Danny Duong, of Fountain Valley, California, and Hong Lee Wong, a/k/a William Wong, of Torrance, California, on July 19, 2012, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed Friday, Duong, 60, a partner in Incom Trading Corporation Inc.; and Wong, 44, a principal in Powell Trading Inc. and Powell Commodity Inc., allegedly defrauded three companies: Cheery Way Inc. (Cheery Way), of Brisbane, California; as well as two Chinese companies, Zheijang Metals and Materials and Zheijang Concentrating (Zheijang), by falsely claiming to have an agreement with the city of New Orleans to recycle scrap metal from a Six Flags amusement park damaged by Hurricane Katrina. To carry out the fraud, Duong and Wong created and sent false documents to Cheery Way and Zheijang in which the defendants fraudulently used names and e-mail addresses of New Orleans city officials.

Duong was arrested on July 26, 2012, at the Houston International Airport. He made his initial appearance in federal court in Houston on July 27, 2012. Today, following a bail hearing held in federal court in Houston, Duong was released on a $100,000 bond. Wong was arrested on July 27, 2012, at his residence in Torrance. He made his initial appearance in federal court in Los Angeles on July 27, 2012, and was released on $25,000 bond and electronic monitoring. Both defendants are scheduled to appear before the Magistrate Judge in federal court in San Francisco, on August 6, 2012.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 and 1343, respectively, is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of the fraud. The statutory penalty for each count of aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A is a mandatory two-year term in prison, to be imposed consecutive to any sentence imposed for other charges, and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. The case has been assigned to United States District Court Judge Susan Illston.

Denise Marie Barton is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elizabeth Garcia. The prosecution is the result of an approximately eight-month investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Duong and Wong must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.