SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A former San Jose priest and head of the Vietnamese Catholic Center has been convicted in federal court of depositing parishioners donations into his personal bank account, officials announced Friday.
Father Hien Minh Nguyen was found guilty of fourteen counts of bank fraud and now faces a $1 million fine and 30 years in prison at the time of his sentencing.READ MORE: Armed Bike Thieves Targeting Cyclists in the East Bay Hills
Federal officials said the 57-year-old Nguyen was a priest for the Diocese of San Jose, a pastor of St. Patrick’s Church and the director of the Vietnamese Catholic Center, also known as the Trung Tam Cong Giao, from 2005 through 2011.READ MORE: COVID Vaccines: Contra Costa Drop-In Sites End Frustration Among Those Struggling To Find Appointments
The evidence at trial showed that while employed as a priest, Nguyen received donations for St. Patrick’s from parishioners, some of which he deposited into his own personal bank account. Nguyen also signed checks drawn on VCC’s bank accounts to pay his personal expenses.MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: San Francisco Allows For Small Indoor Gatherings Among Fully Vaccinated
Further, the evidence demonstrated that Nguyen received from parishioners fourteen separate checks made payable to the VCC, which the parishioners intended would be used for the benefit of VCC.