SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - A San Jose woman faces up to 20 years in federal prison for running a $9.5 million Ponzi scheme on more than 250 victims.
A federal jury on Wednesday convicted Bich Quyen Nguyen, 59, of conspiring to commit wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton sent her back to jail to await her March 13, 2014 sentencing.
Nguyen told her victims she was CEO of a Swedish credit union that guaranteed returns of as much as 46.2 percent on 1-year certificates of deposit involving at least $1 million. She claimed she used "trading platforms" to make high-velocity trades, and that their money was safe because it would be in "blocked" accounts, according to evidence from the 6-day trial.
Her suckers formed investment clubs to scrape together the $1 million they needed, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. Some of the investment clubs were in Anaheim and Rialto.
Nguyen and her cohorts pitched the scam across Southern California - sometimes in churches. They continued to do so in defiance of 2009 orders from the SEC and a federal judge, the U.S. attorney said.
Nguyen's co-conspirator Johnny Edward Johnson, 70, of the Bay Area, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.
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