Immigration Official Who Allegedly Demanded Egg Roll & Cash Bribes Faces June Trial

mainhunguyenrolls.jpg
This is what it's come to: egg roll bribery?
In November 2011, Mai Nhu Nguyen--a federal official in Orange County with power to grant or deny citizenship applications--forced a Vietnamese immigrant to buy and deliver 300 egg rolls to her government building for an office party, according to a three-count indictment.

Investigators in the public-corruption unit of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also claim in their criminal filing that, in November 2012, Nguyen told another Vietnamese immigrant facing a green card interview she would "take care" of her case for a $1,000 secret payment.

Two days after the alleged demand, Nguyen called the applicant, told her to go to Quang Minh market in Little Saigon, purchase a fish sauce package and place an envelope containing $1,000 in the bag, according to the indictment.

When the woman complied, Nguyen walked up in the Brookhurst Avenue-facing parking lot; said, "It's me"; grabbed the package; drove away; and later approved the application, DHS officials claim.

In June 2013, another Vietnam native told investigators that Nguyen had demanded $3,000 to approve her application. A joint FBI-DHS operation gave this victim cash, placed a body wire on her and watched as she met the immigration official in the Santa Ana parking lot of her agency.

According to federal records, Nguyen took the money inside her vehicle, said she might want more to approve the application, then exited to return to her office, but undercover agents surrounded her.

Nguyen--who was born in 1965--pleaded not guilty in the bribery case and is free from custody on $20,000 bail.

The Irvine resident is scheduled to face trial inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse on June 3.

U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton will preside.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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20 comments
FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Those eggrolls look delicious...but Ms. Nguyen's crime is hard to swallow. I guess I just have a general contempt for opportunistic government officials who take advantage of people in desperate situations. :-(

Anthoni Le
Anthoni Le

OC Weekly, sounds like he gets lost getting out of bed...

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

They demanded diversity, they got diversity.  Now we're stuck.  We have a Nguyen-ner!

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Anthoni Le Wethinks he got lost on the way to the Orange County Register haha

gm0622
gm0622

Those are spring rolls

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

I wonder of this official will face deportation proceedings over these offenses?

Anthoni Le
Anthoni Le

Agreed, what the heck is Ron talking about???

Anthoni Le
Anthoni Le

What a damn shame. Greed and corruption could care less about anyone's skin tone, it only cares about one color, green.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Ron: What does multiculturalism have to do with anything?

Joshua Ryan
Joshua Ryan

They don't see race. They see money. & judge based on a bank account. Just like "sects" in other cultures.

EBry Músical
EBry Músical

city governments all over this county have no issue using immigrants for slave labor.

Remy Merriex
Remy Merriex

In the official's defense, those eggrolls were worth going to jail for.

Judy Case
Judy Case

Nothing changes. They treat people here the way they would in their country. Those that have the power abuse those that don't.

Will Eudave
Will Eudave

nothing makes me sicker than someone mistreating people within their own race. as if they dont realize there is a bigger enemy.

Highway39
Highway39

@paullucas714  You can't deport people just because they're not white, Genius. She would have to be found guilty of treason in a federal court to be denaturalized. I doubt very much that this crime rises to the level of treason.

c.christian.lyons
c.christian.lyons

Yes! Us evil white people!!! Arrrrrrgggghhh I'm white and I'm here to destroy your life because I'm white and evil and bad and horrible!!!!

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