PORTLAND, Ore. – PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man who stole nearly $700,000 from the U.S. government while serving as an Army captain in Iraq was sentenced to 30 months in prison Monday.
Michael Dung Nguyen, a graduate of West Point, acknowledged stealing more than $690,000 entrusted to him for distribution to Iraqi humanitarian relief, rebuilding projects and security services. The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering charges in December.
U.S. District Judge Ancer L. Haggerty also ordered Nguyen to undergo mental health treatment, serve three years of post-prison supervision and pay back $200,000 that he spent on expensive cars and other items while trying to hide the money he stole.
Federal investigators say that between April 2007 and the end of his tour a battalion civil affairs officer in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, in June 2008, Nguyen peeled bills from the bundled stacks, put them in boxes and sent them to his home in Beaverton, Ore.
Nguyen, based out of Fort Lewis, Wash., tried to hide the money by depositing it in amounts of less than $10,000 at banks around Portland.
But he caught the interest of the Portland office of the Internal Revenue Service, which then uncovered his purchase of a BMW, a Hummer, electronic equipment and furniture.
Federal investigators also found $300,000 cash hidden in the attic of his house.