Westminster Police Sued For Allegedly Aiding Little Saigon Loan Shark

The victim in a Little Saigon loan-sharking operation that FBI agents believe used at least one dirty lawman as an enforcer is suing the Westminster Police Department, its chief, three cops and the alleged loan shark.

Lounge owner Hanh Le claims in her 11-count federal lawsuit that a "team" of defendants "conspired" to "frighten, pressure, harass, intimidate, assault and threaten" her into making payments on "usurious loans" totaling $170,000 with an illegal 60 percent annual interest rate to accused loan shark Kevin Khanh Tuan Do of Fountain Valley.

Last August, prosecutors inside the U.S. Department of Justice charged officer Anthony Duong Donner and Do in the case, but Hanh believes the corruption extended to her named additional defendants: Police Chief Kevin Baker as well as veteran officers Phuong Pham and Timothy Vu, according to the lawsuit.

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Graduating High School Senior: Little Saigon Salon Burned My Hair Off

Pop, pop, sizzle, pop, pop
In anticipation of her 2012 high school graduation ceremony, Kellie Nguyen visited a Garden Grove salon with plans to style and color beautiful hair that reached her thigh.

But Nguyen says her trip to the Fancy Hair Salon was a horrific, man-made disaster that left her in pain at the emergency room and, sadly, without most of her hair.

That assertion is contained in an ongoing fraud, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence lawsuit the young woman filed in Orange County Superior Court against the Brookhurst Street salon in Little Saigon.

When she arrived at the salon, Nguyen says she told her stylist, called "John Doe" in the legal action, that she was "scared" of "harsh chemicals," and the man then applied the product to her hair, left her unattended for three hours and found her squirming in agony, according to the lawsuit.

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New Charge Filed In Little Saigon Loan Sharking Case Involving Westminster Police

FBI probes Westminster cops
The U.S. Department of Justice working with a federal grand jury in Southern California has issued a superseding indictment in the case of the Little Saigon businessman accused of operating a loan-sharking operation with the assistance of a Westminster police officer.

Last August, FBI agents arrested officer Anthony Duong Donner and businessman Kevin Khanh Tuan Do. The two men pleaded not guilty to the original two-count indictment.

This week, federal prosecutors Brett A. Sagel and Joseph T. McNally won an additional, grand jury approved count against Do: Lying to FBI agents in hopes of thwarting their investigation.

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Orange County Defense Contractor for B-52 Bomber Caught Cheating

Federal prosecutors have charged a Little Saigon defense contractor with fraudulently certifying that equipment had been tested before purchased by the Pentagon and used on the B-52 bomber, as well as on 757 and 777 commercial aircraft.

Victor P. Nguyen, owner of VJ Engineering Inc. in Garden Grove, formally acknowledged product-testing records had been falsified for at least $220,000 worth of parts, according to a guilty plea signed this month.

The company cheated from 2009 to 2010, according to U.S. Department of Justice records.

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Khanh Van Le Gets 16 to Life in Prison for Fatal Stabbing at Little Saigon Fishing Crew Party

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Le_ Khanh.jpg
A 43-year-old Westminster man who fatally stabbed another he fought with at a party for a new fishing crew has been sent to state prison for 16 years to life.

Before Friday's sentencing, Khanh Van Le had been found guilty by a jury on Oct. 21 of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife.

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Vietnamese LGBT Groups Successfully March in Tet Parade

Photo by William Vo

After multiple votes for exclusion and inclusion, city council meetings, impassioned speeches, private meetings, lawsuits, boycotts, and a several-hour delay, Viet Rainbow of Orange County (VROC), the non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the Vietnamese LGBT community, successfully marched in the Orange County Tet parade.

"We feel great," Hieu Nguyen said afterwards. "There's a sense relief. Everyone's fears were unfounded. We were able to show that we are a part of the Vietnamese American community and that we can't be denied."

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Judge Lectures Vietnamese Immigrant, an Ecstasy Dealer, For Wasting U.S. Opportunities

Ecstasy pill distribution wins federal judge's ire
Reading from a handwritten speech, a handcuffed California ecstasy pill dealer apologized to an Orange County judge this week for abusing his opportunities as a fleeing immigrant from communist Vietnam and, in hope for leniency, promised that when he emerges from prison he'll be law abiding.

"My conduct was wrong and unethical," said a soft-spoken Thanh Van Tran, who arrived with his family in the United States at the age of eight in 1980, grew up in Denver and Stockton, and often chose crime and drugs over productivity in his life. "I didn't think of the consequences. I apologize."

In March 2013, undercover Torrance Police Department officers conducting a confidential informant operation arrested Tran, a high school dropout born in 1972, at his Jasmine Place apartment in the heart of Little Saigon and recovered a whopping five kilos of MDMA, the chemical ingredient for the popular party drug ecstasy or simply "X."

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FBI-Arrested Little Saigon Cop Accused of Aiding Loan Shark Hires Celebrity Lawyer

FBI: Little Saigon cop was muscle in loan-shark operation
The Westminster Police Department officer arrested by the FBI in August with a Little Saigon businessman for allegedly running a loan-sharking operation has dumped his Newport Beach defense lawyer for a Hollywood celebrity attorney who once worked as a federal prosecutor.

According to court records, Anthony Duong Donner booted court-appointed John W. Barton to retain Donald Etra, who has represented rapper Snoop Dogg, singer Rihanna (against slugger Chris Brown) and actress Fran Drescher.

In two separate criminal actions (drug and weapon counts) against Snoop Dogg in Orange County, Etra--who is a President George W. Bush appointee to the board of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.--claims he won reductions in charges.

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Little Saigon Businessman Who Sold Fake Dental Products Faces Criminal Charges

A Little Saigon businessman who trafficked counterfeit dental products and has been ordered to pay $24.1 million in restitution after losing a civil lawsuit is now facing two, related criminal charges following a grand jury indictment.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Jeannie M. Joseph, Anh Tuan Luu defrauded customers as well as his former employer, Kerr Corporation, by producing and selling fake versions of that company's trademarked products for six years until 2012.

After his arrest, Luu--owner of Tri Dental Innovators/Tri Dental Inc. in Garden Grove--pleaded not guilty inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in December and is free from custody on $250,000 bail.

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LGBT Orgs Cleared to March in 2014 Tet Parade

Photo by Charles Lam
Federation members counting the votes

The Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California voted earlier today to allow LGBT organizations to march in the 2014 Tet Festival in Westminster, the same parade such groups were banned from last year and had been demonized in previous years. The vote comes after an earlier vote banning the organizations from this year's festival. However, a re-vote was scheduled following a meeting moderated by Westminster Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmember Sergio Contreras between members of the federation and Viet Rainbow of Orange County (VROC), a non-profit organization working towards equity and unity in the Vietnamese diaspora.

"I think the outcome was great," said Phong Ly, former president of UVSA (Union of Vietnamese Students Association of Southern California, the group that holds the largest Tet festival in the country) and president of Phan Boi Chan Youth Association. "Some people have called it a victory, but I don't think it's a victory for one group or individual. It a victory, a big step forward for our community that we can open our hearts to love."

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