Little Saigon Identity Thief Who Stole For Ugly Meth Habit Wins Prison Break

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

Charge it to my victim's account, please!
To support her life-wrecking methamphetamine habit, Little Saigon's Celeste Anh Nguyen--the mother of several kids--helped run an identity theft ring that stole U.S. mail to obtain credit cards in the names of unsuspecting people, bought goods at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, and then returned the items for cash.

When law enforcement officers arrested Nguyen in August 2011 she had in her possession 70 social security numbers, credit cards, bank account numbers and mail belonging to her victims.

Because Nguyen--who emigrated from Vietnam with her family when she was in the first grade--accepted responsibility for her crimes, lost custody of her kids and served a 16-month term stemming from a related state conviction, both a federal prosecutor and Nguyen's taxpayer-supplied defense lawyer recommended a low-end guideline prison sentence of six months.

But Garden Grove's Nguyen, who declared that she now will lead a productive life, hit the jackpot with Republican-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

Carney, who is an extraordinarily compassionate sentencing judge, decided this week to give the Garden Grove woman, who'd been a victim of domestic violence, a punishment of time served.

The 29-year-old Nguyen (a.k.a. Phuong Anh Pham Nguyen, Anh Nguyen and Phuong Pham Nguyen) must live under federal supervised probation for the next three years and has been ordered to pay more than $41,000 in restitution to her victims.

Nguyen's accomplice, Dan Trung Hoang (a.k.a. Minh Hoang Nguyen), who--with the help of the Catholic Church--immigrated to the U.S. as an infant after a stint in a refugee camp, last year received a term of four months and was ordered to pay $23,500 in restitution.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Email: Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Nicole Krramer
Nicole Krramer

Sure come to this country and steal from everyone awesome! Why isn't she being deported back!!?! Such bullshit.... Yet get a DUI in OC and your life is hell for 10 years. This state is so backwards

Helene Smati
Helene Smati

That's bullcrap!...My identity was stolen 10 years ago, it ruined my credit and I'm still dealing with the aftermath. Restituting the money to the victims will NOT improve their credit score...Furthermore, I think that having A kid, let alone several, doesn't make you re-assess your life and put down the meth pipe, you truly are a selfish individual...

Chris J Caroselli
Chris J Caroselli

*Emigrated from Vietnam. We take in other country's trash all the time, you'd think Californians would know the difference.

Andrew Reyes
Andrew Reyes

Can’t wait to hear the liberals spin this story - “This poor mother was forced to a life of crime to support her kids/meth habit.” Haha!

paullucas714 topcommenter

@Andrew Reyes Hey Andrew, Ill bet you  dollars and your Ted Nugent Army ID card, that the only Democrat n this story is possibly her Public defender.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault