Crime

She claimed she ran a hotel in $150K oil-spill claim, but gets prison

A woman who claimed she was the general manager of a Biloxi hotel in a $150,000 claim for oil-spill recovery money is going to prison.

Vanna Nguyen Ly, also known as Van Thi Nguyen, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden also ordered restitution of $30,029.65.

Ly, who later claimed $11 million in assets she couldn’t prove in a different criminal case, was sentenced for attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Her claim for oil-spill recovery money shows she stated she was the general manager of a Holiday Inn when the Deepwater Horizon explosion resulted in the oil spill of 2010. She did not work for the hotel. But she conspired with others to come up with so-called pay stubs, tax documents and a letter that said she was a hotel employee, her indictment said.

Ozerden has allowed her to remain free on bond until she is notified where and when to report to prison.

Faced criminal bankruptcy charges

Ly also had also been indicted on criminal charges involving a bankruptcy case filed in 2013.

Documents in U.S. Bankruptcy Court show Ly claimed to have a net worth of $11.7 million in 2012 but could not explain “her sudden loss of net worth” when she filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

Court documents also show she was accused of making false statements and committing perjury. She withheld information on her assets, which included her small percentage of ownership of V Restaurant Group LLC in New Orleans, associated with V Sushi Martini and Bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter, records show.

She also owned land on Biloxi’s Cedar Street but failed to disclose she had sold it to the Palace Casino. Her assets list also did not include 12 place settings each of Tiffany and Versace china, which she was required to sell.

The bankruptcy case has been closed. Ly’s criminal charges in that case are being dismissed as part of her plea agreement in the other case.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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