After a marathon non-jury trial spread out between March of 2017 and May of 2018, we received a decision in favor of our clients.  Our client and numerous other first generation Vietnamese Americans were induced by Andy Vo and his paramour, Realtor® Luu Le Dang of Century 21 at the Helm, to engage in a complicated investment scheme.  Dang often represented both buyers and sellers in real estate transactions without disclosure.  She got powers of attorney from her investors and used those documents to fleece her victims.  

A typical transaction would find Dang representing the investor in a purchase.  Dang would take her real estate commission plus a “quiet” 50% interest in the property as additional commission.  The investor would put up all the money for the purchase.  Then the investor would invest additional money to renovate the property, using Dang and Vo’s company to do the work. Dang would decide how much she got paid.  Dang would then get public money to abate lead paint without disclosing her ownership of both the property and the remediation company. (a federal crime).  When the property was ready to rent, Dang would refinance with a “cash out” refinance” putting the money into her pocket. Dang would then act as the property manager and collect the rents.  The rents were to be divided 50-50 with the investor, who would be responsible for repairs out of her share.  Eventually, when the tenants stop paying, the bank foreclosed on the investor, or the property was lost because Dang did not pay taxes.

Who the heck would make this investment??   If the truth had been disclosed, no one.  But we all know an investment scam discloses no truth and emphasizes the potential for 20 to 30% returns on the money you have in the bank getting 1%.

At trial, our client, and another couple represented by Attorney Kathryn E. Peters of Harrisburg jointly presented claims that each had invested over $850,000 in the scam.  In the case of our client, she invested every penny she had saved since escaping Vietnam in the 1970’s.  She worked 85 hours a week and was a saver, not a spender.   She invested her cash savings, borrowed against her retirement account and took out mortgages on her home and two investment properties, previously free in Oregon.   We faced a counterclaim from Dang, who wanted $450,000 in property management fees (she is not a licensed broker) for managing the investors’ funds down to zero.

THE RESULT:

Judgment for the amount invested by the Plaintiffs –   $1, 700,737.00

Judgment for pre-judgment interest of about                 $1,000,000.00

Judgment for Punitive Damages                                        $1,000,000.00

TOTAL                                                                                         $3,700,000.00