Texas man gets 120-month sentence for scamming friends and co-workers out of $700K, US attorney says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Manvel man has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison after preying on his friends and co-workers through wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

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Toan Tran, 42, pleaded guilty on Jan. 4, 2021.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes gave Tran his sentence, which will be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

Several of the victims testified about the hardships his theft had caused for them and their families, according to Lowery.

After hearing from several of the victims, Hughes noted Tran's "treachery" by stealing from friends and co-workers.

Tran admitted in court that in 2017 he used a fake investment account to convince a local businessman to sell him a media outlet.

Tran showed the businessman funds in the account, but they fraudulently displayed $7 million when, in fact, he never had over $100,000 at any one time, records show.

Tran subsequently bankrupted the business and defaulted on the payments.

Tran also admitted to using the same scheme to persuade several co-workers to invest in his company from 2015 through 2017.

Some victims invested their life savings and never saw any return, according to Lowery.

In total, investors lost over $705,000 as a result of Tran's scheme, investigators said.

Tran was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
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