Manvel man sent to prison for draining co-workers in investment scheme

2 mins read
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

HOUSTON – A  42-year-old Manvel resident has been ordered to prison following his conviction of wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Toan Tran pleaded guilty Jan. 4, 2021.

Today, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ordered Tran to serve 120 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the blatant, fraudulent scheme and the fact that Tran preyed on his friends and co-workers. Several of the victims testified about the hardships his theft had caused for them and their families. After hearing from several of the victims, Judge Hughes noted the Tran’s “treachery” by stealing from friends and co-workers.

At the time of his plea, Tran admitted that in 2017 he used a fake investment account to convince a local businessman to sell him a media outlet. Tran showed the businessman funds in the account, but they had been altered. They fraudulently displayed $7 million when, in fact, he never had over $100,000 at any one time. Tran subsequently bankrupted the business and defaulted on the payments.   

Tran also admitted to using the same scheme to persuade several co-workers to invest in his company from 2015 through 2017. Some victims invested their life savings and never saw any return.

In total, investors lost over $705,000 as a result of Tran’s scheme.  

Tran was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

FBI – Texas City conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas H. Carter prosecuted the case.