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: Livemore Man Arrested in Series of Sexual Battery Attacks on Female Joggers
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: Yosemite Rolls Out Winter Lottery for Summer Camping at Popular Site
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: 49ers Playoffs: Shanahan Hopeful Bosa Will Be Cleared To Play Vs. Packers
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.