U.S. District Court Judge Alan Kay has sentenced two store owners to prison for food stamp trafficking in Chinatown.
Food stamp fraud
ends in prison time
2 store owners are the
latest to be sentenced
in trafficking cases
By Rosemarie Bernardo
Carol Lam Tran was sentenced to 21 months, and Dat "David" Huy Pham was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days.
Kay also ordered Tran and Pham to pay restitution of $89,974 and $7,180, respectively. A forfeiture of $15,621.30 was ordered against Tran.
Tran pleaded guilty to conspiring to traffic in food stamp coupons and money laundering through Thanh Lan Market Inc., a store previously owned by her.
Pham pled guilty to illegally redeeming food stamp coupons at his store, D&M Seafood Inc. He also pleaded guilty to underreporting his income on his federal tax returns. According to documents, the underreporting caused a loss to the government of more than $180,000 from 1994 to 1996.
Tran and Pham are the 12th and 13th persons to be penalized as part of an investigation that resulted in a forfeiture of more than $3.9 million in assets. Others sentenced include:
>> May 30: Nguyen "Michael" Tran was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and restitution of $7,055.
>> May 21: Nancy Doan was sentenced to 27 months in prison and restitution of $65,465.
>> April 30: Phong Thi Hoang was sentenced to two years in prison and restitution of $43,130.
>> March 5: Mai Thi Do was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and restitution of $48,000.
>> Jan. 18: Kim Mai Moore was sentenced to five years' probation and restitution of $18,000.
>> Dec. 11, 2000: Kinh Van Tran was sentenced to five years' probation and restitution of $5,296.
>> Dec. 5, 2000: Phouthong Sivongxay was sentenced to three years' probation and restitution of $2,012.50.
>> Aug. 31, 2000: Tam Nguyen was sentenced to three years' probation and restitution of $3,085.
>> Sept. 20, 2000: Bounsy Darasamay was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and restitution of $47,205.
>> Jan. 24, 2000: Manivanh Darasamay was sentenced to two years and three months in prison and restitution of $47,025.
>> Oct. 25, 1999: Kommaly Gordon was sentenced to three years' probation and a $1,000 fine.