Woman to change plea in $3M fraud case

Woman, boyfriend tricked retiree into loaning them $3 million

Hiep Cong Van (left), Thy Minh Phan, Nov. 23, 2015 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Hiep Cong Van (left), Thy Minh Phan, Nov. 23, 2015 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN ) – A change of plea hearing is scheduled Thursday in U.S. District Court for a woman linked to the theft of more than $3 million.

Thy Minh Phan is charged in federal court for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.

The indictment against her and her boyfriend Hiep Cong Van was filed in November 2015.

Beginning in September 2012, Van and Phan tricked an Oregon retiree into loaning them more than $3 million by falsely promising the man that they would use his money to operate a landscaping business in Colorado, according to the indictment.

To entice the victim into loaning them to the money, Phan and Van said they would pay interest on the money that was given to them, record show.

However, investigators learned that Phan and Van used the victim’s money to gamble at casinos in Las Vegas. Phan and Van spent about $2.5 million at casinos.

Records show that Van acted as if his financial circumstances were so dire that he was thinking about suicide, according to the indictment.

Phan is scheduled to change her plea before Judge Anna J. Brown at 11:30 Thursday in Portland.

Van was ordered detained by Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You on April 11 for reportedly violating his pretrial release conditions.

He pleaded guilty in June 2016 to Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud and Money Laundering. His sentencing is set for May 31, 2017.