On Tuesday, it was announced that a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose had been sentenced to prison. Hien Minh Nguyen was sentenced to 36 months in prison for his involvement in a tax evasion and bank fraud scheme. Court documents provided to the court claim that Nguyen stole company from parishioners from 2008 through 2011.
Nguyen stolen money that his parishioners had donated to the Diocese through checks and cash handed over during religious services. The defendant deposited those checks into his personal bank account and used the money for personal purposes. Nguyen also wrote checks from the church business accounts to pay personal expenses.
Then, the defendant concealed the embezzlement from his tax return preparer to avoid paying income taxes on the money. In total, the court concluded that the priest embezzled approximately $1,449,365 from the Catholic Church. The court also found that the defendant evaded $582,453 in individual income taxes.
The defendant has been sentenced to 36 months in prison. He will also serve three years of supervised release and will be required to pay $1,883,883 in restitution.