– By Domani Spero
This is an update of the Sestak Visa Scandal that’s winding its way through the court system. The publicly available Superseding Indictment posted on July 9, 2013 now includes the names of all five defendants — three U.S. citizens and two residents and nationals of Vietnam. For previous posts, see below:
- USCG Ho Chi Minh: Former Visa Chief Faces Charges of Conspiracy to Commit Visa Fraud and Bribery
- “Conservative Estimate” of Proceeds from Alleged Visas for Sale Scheme “At Least $10 Million”
- USCG Ho Chi Minh City’s Visa Fraud Allegations — When Silence Isn’t Golden
- Sestak Criminal Complaint Details Alleged Visa For Dollars Scheme: Refusal Rates, Emails, and Money Trails
- USDOJ: FSO Michael Todd Sestak Charged With Conspiracy to Defraud and Conspiracy to Commit Bribery and Visa Fraud
The August court hearing for Sestak, Hong Vo and Truc Thanh Huynh was rescheduled for 9/13/2013 at 02:00 PM in Courtroom 30A before Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Excerpt from the Superseding Indictment:
From at least in or around February 2012, continuing through at least in or around December 2012, in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the United States and within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, and pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 3237 and 3238, within the venue of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the defendants SESTAK, BINH VO, ALICE NGUYEN, HONG VO, and TRUC HUYNH, a joint offender who was arrested in the District of Columbia, did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree, together and with persons whose identities are known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to commit offenses against the United States, that is, bribery of a public official, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 201(b)(2), and visa fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1546(a), and to defraud the United States Government by interfering with and obstructing a lawful government function, that is, the unbiased and disinterested issuance of visas by the Department of State to non-United States citizens, by deceit, craft, trickery, and dishonest means, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
Upon conviction of the offense alleged in Count One of this Indictment, defendants MICHAEL T. SESTAK, BINH TANG VO, ANHDAO T. NGUYEN, also known as Alice Nguyen, also known as Anhdao Thuy Vo, also known as Thuy Anh Dao Nguyen, also known as Anhdao Thuy Nguyen, also known as Dao Thuy Anh Nguyen, HONG CHAU VO, and TRUC THANH HUYNH, shall forfeit to the United States any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from or is traceable to the proceeds obtained directly or indirectly from the commission of the offense, and any property, real or personal, which was used to facilitate the commission of the offense, or was intended to be used to facilitate the offense, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 982(a)(6), and any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the offense, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 981(a)(1)(C) and 28 U.S.C. Section 2461(c). The property subject to forfeiture includes: Any and all funds and securities seized from Scottrade account #58490015, held in the name of ANHDAO THUY NGUYEN.
The indictment includes descriptions of “transactions” where individuals, some with multiple visa denials were allegedly issued visas by Mr. Sestak. The government alleges that defendant Binh Vo informed defendant Sestak of the identity of each foreign national who had agreed to pay money in exchange for obtaining a visa, before the foreign national appeared at the Consulate for a visa interview.
Below is a video posted by Thanh Nien Daily of the December 2012 wedding of alleged conspirators, Vietnamese national Anhdao Thuy Nguyen and U.S.citizen Binh Tang Vo with Sestak as one of the groomsmen. The Thanh Nien Daily reported that the wedding cost $300,000. More wedding photos on FB here.
The indictment says that the “United States will seek a forfeiture money judgment against the defendants in the amount of at least $9,780,000.”
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of “any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from or is traceable to the proceeds obtained directly or indirectly from the commission of the offense, and any property, real or personal, which was used to facilitate the commission of the offense, or was intended to be used to facilitate the offense, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 982(a)(6). The United States will seek a forfeiture money judgment against the defendants equal to the value of any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to this offense.”
If any of the property cannot be located, or has been transferred or sold, or deposited with, a third party; or has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the court, the indictment seeks, upon conviction of defendants, forfeiture “to the United States any other property of the defendants, up to the value of the property described above, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 853(p).”
Vietnamese newspaper Tuoi Tre reported that Binh Tang Vo and his wife Anhdao Thuy Nguyen last entered Vietnam on April 7, 2012. Thanh Nien Daily also reported that the publication of their names has sparked widespread speculation as to their whereabouts but that the couple has disappeared from public sight.