For release on July 12, 2016
Georg Behrens, Deputy District Attorney
Major Fraud Unit
SOUTH BAY MAN CHARGED WITH SWEETHEART SCAMS
Joel Huynh Joel Huynh found his victims on Facebook and other social networking and dating websites by posing as a well-to-do man looking for friendship and love. The South Bay man was really looking for money. Huynh, also known as Phuoc Nguyen, is facing multiple felony charges after hoodwinking numerous Vietnamese-American women into giving him more than $200,000.
If convicted of the 15 charges of grand theft and passing a bad check, he could face significant time in prison. Huynh, 41, will be arraigned on July 12, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in department 23 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
“Scam artists rely upon misplaced trust,” prosecutor Georg Behrens said. “Please remember that if someone hands you a check, you don’t really have the money until the check has cleared.” Between March 2014 and August 2015, Huynh befriended his victims online and, when meeting them in person, presented himself as well-off and generous. The defendant would offer financial assistance to an intended victim, such as a gift of money to help with school expenses. The gift would come in the form of Huynh’s personal check, which he would have the victim deposit into her personal bank account. Huynh would then feign a sudden need for a cash loan, claiming - for example - that a family member had encountered a sudden medical or financial emergency. The victim would withdraw the cash from her bank account and give it to Huynh. Huynh would then disappear with the money, disconnecting his phone number and deleting his online accounts. The personal checks he had given the victim would bounce. So far seven victims have been identified. Investigators believe there may be more. If anyone has information about Huynh, they may contact DA Investigator Richard Fong at (408) 792-2983. # # #