By Martin Wisckol
A Fountain Valley man was fined $25,000 after pleading guilty Friday to illegally
funneling money into the 2012 supervisorial campaign of Janet Nguyen, who is
now a state senator.
“We found insufficient evidence to prove Janet Nguyen knew of or was aware of the laundered funds,” said Jay Wierenga, spokesman for the state Fair Political Practices Commission. The FPPC conducted the investigation with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Janet Nguyen’s campaign consultant said she had no knowledge of the illegal contributions.
Son Truong Nguyen, 39, made 10 reimbursements to donors totaling $13,300 in Janet Nguyen’s successful reelection bid. The two are not related, and Janet Nguyen’s campaign has said the convicted man was unaffiliated with the politician’s campaign and elected offices.
The campaign contribution limit in the race was $1,800.
Son Truong Nguyen was sentenced in Orange County Superior Court to three years' probation, and must pay $20,000 to the state general fund and $5,000 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund. He must also perform 40 hours of community service in lieu of jail time.
Dave Gilliard, Janet Nguyen’s campaign consultant, said his client “does not recall any specific meetings with (Son Truong Nguyen), but it is possible they could have met at a public event sometime in the past.”
Gilliard said she was unaware that Son Truong Nguyen was reimbursing contributors and was not contacted by investigators in the case.