McClatchy ’s Michael Doyle has a follow up report on Michael T. Sestak, the Foreign Service officer accused of selling hundreds of visas to residents of Vietnam. Mr. Sestak made his first appearance in D.C. court on Tuesday according to McClatchy. Excerpt below:
In a 10-minute session Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson informed Sestak that he faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and bribery. For now, Robinson declined to release Sestak from jail and held him without bond.
Seldom looking up from the table, and dressed in tan pants and a gray T-shirt, Sestak sat silently next to his attorney during the session. In addition to agreeing on a preliminary hearing date of June 14, Sestak’s legal counsel, J. Michael Hannon, filed a bond review motion to be heard Thursday.
Prosecutors said in a May 22 court document that “a conservative estimate” of the proceeds from the alleged conspiracy was “at least $10 million,” although officials added that “approximately $5 million in proceeds remains unaccounted for” and is thought to be in Vietnam.
McClatchy also reports that officials have arrested a 29-year-old Vietnamese citizen, Truc Tranh Huynh in Washington, as one of the alleged co-conspirators. In addition, Diplomatic Security Service has reportedly filed a warrant to seize money in a brokerage account of another alleged co-conspirators, Anhdao Thuy Nguyen, also known as Alice Nguyen claiming it came from visa fraud.
The name of that alleged co-conspirator may actually be Nguyen Thuy Anh Dao, already reported in Vietnamese press as the spouse of co-conspirator #1.
Continue reading, Michael T. Sestak, accused of selling visas, held without bond.
We have previously blogged about this in Sestak Criminal Complaint Details Alleged Visa For Dollars Scheme: Refusal Rates, Emails, and Money Trails. Tuoi Tre News in Vietnam has covered this case with great zeal (see links below).
- USCG Ho Chi Minh: Former Visa Chief Faces Charges of Conspiracy to Commit Visa Fraud and Bribery (diplopundit.net)
- Sestak Criminal Complaint Details Alleged Visa For Dollars Scheme: Refusal Rates, Emails, and Money Trails (diplopundit.net)
- Vietnamese-American arrested over Sestak’s visa scam (Tuoi Tre News)
- Disgraced ex-US diplomat made false statements (Tuoi Tre News)
- Sestak spends visa bribes on properties in Thailand (Tuoi Tre News)
- Ex-US visa officer receives money via conspirators (Tuoi Tre News)
- Sestak approves visas for associates of co-conspirators (Tuoi Tre News)\
- Visa seller Sestak once regarded as ‘devoted and professional’ (Tuoi Tre News)
- Clues from IP addresses in Sestak’s visa scam (Tuoi Tre News)
- Investigative leads in Sestak’s visa-for-money scam (Tuoi Tre News)
- Visa bribery case: how did ex-US officer make money? (Tuoi Tre News)