In The united states district court for The district of maryland



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In The UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

For The DISTRICT OF MARYLAND

Southern Division

DAI CHUNG NEWS MEDIA INCORPORATED ]

d/b/a DAI CHUNG BIWEEKLY NEWSPAPER ]

10515 Summit Avenue ]

Kensington, Maryland 20895, ]

]

and ]



]

HOAI THANH ]

2820 Poag Street ]

Alexandria, Virginia 22303 ]

as an individual, as the owner of an ]

enterprise engaged in Interstate and ]

foreign commerce, as a member of the ]

Vietnamese speaking community in America, ]

on behalf of himself and others similarly ]

situated, ]

]

Plaintiffs, ]



v. ] CASE No: AW 05 CV 3420 ]

HIEN THI NGO ]

8001 Bradley Boulevard ] JURY TRIAL

Bethesda, Maryland 20817, ] DEMANDED

]

HUNG NGOC NGO ]



2304 Westmoreland Avenue ]

Falls Church, Virginia 22096, ]

]

VIETNAMESE PUBLIC RADIO, INC. ]



900 S. Washington Street, Suite 302 ]

Falls Church, VA 22046, ]

Serve registered agent Hung Ngo ]

2304 Westmoreland Street ]

Falls Church, Virginia 22046, ]

]

]



COMMITTEE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN VIETNAM INC ]

8001 Bradley Boulevard ]

Bethesda 20817, ]

Serve registered agent ]

Ngo Thi Hien at the corporate address, ]

]


NGUYEN HONG THAI ]

11525 Dragonfire Way ]

Germantown, Maryland 20876, ]

]


THANG DINH NGUYEN ]

6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 640 ]

Falls Church, Virginia 22042, ]

]

BOAT PEOPLE S.O.S., INC. ]



6066 Leesburg Pike ]

Falls Church, Virginia 22041, ]

Serve Registered agent ]

Nguyen Dinh Thang ]

6400 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 640 ]

Arlington, Virginia 22042-2336 ]

And serve also same registered agent ]

at above address for corporation; ]

]

TRAN NGHI HOANG ]



8552 Tyrolean Way ]

Springfield, Virginia 22153, ]

]

LE PHAI, INC. ]



d/b/a Le Phai Newspaper ]

8552 Tyrolean Way ]

Springfield, Virginia 22153, ]

Serve registered agent ]

Tien Van Tran ]

at the above address, ]

]

and ]


]

JOHN DOES as follows: ]

]

JOHN DOE #1 ]



Whose real name is presently unknown, but ]

who, under the pen name LE MINH NGOC, ]

writes in the Le Phai weekly newspaper ]

articles that defame the plaintiffs and cast ]

the plaintiffs in a false light that are then ]

broadcast on the programs of defendant VPR, ]

]

JOHN DOE #2 ]



Whose real name is presently unknown, but ]

who, under the pen name LE TAM writes and ]

publishes articles on the website internetyahoo/thaoluan ]

that defame the plaintiffs and cast them in a false light ]

that are then broadcast on defendant VPR’s programs,

]

JOHN DOE #3 ]



Whose real name is presently unknown, but who ]

broadcasts and hosts on VPR programs under the ]

broadcast name HUY DUC matter that defames the ]

plaintiffs and casts them in a false light in such ]

manner as to stir up members of the audience and ]

threaten the plaintiffs with threats that include violence, ]

]

JOHN DOE #4 ]



Whose real name is presently unknown, but who ]

broadcasts and hosts on VPR programs under the ]

broadcast name HOANG LAN matter that defames the ]

plaintiffs and casts them in a false light in such ]

manner as to stir up members of the audience and ]

threaten the plaintiffs with threats that include violence, ]

]

JOHN DOE #5 ]



Whose real name is presently unknown, but who ]

broadcasts and hosts on VPR programs under the ]

broadcast name LE THI matter that defames the ]

plaintiffs and casts them in a false light in such ]

manner as to stir up members of the audience and ]

threaten the plaintiffs with threats that include violence, ]

]

JOHN DOE #6 ]



Whose real name is presently unknown, but who ]

broadcasts and hosts on VPR programs under the ]

broadcast name THANH TIN matter that defames the ]

plaintiffs and casts them in a false light in such ]

manner as to stir up members of the audience and ]

threaten the plaintiffs with threats that include violence, ]

]

JOHN DOE #7 ]



Whose real name is presently unknown, but who ]

broadcasts and hosts on VPR programs under the ]

broadcast name HONG HANH matter that defames the ]

plaintiffs and casts them in a false light in such ]

manner as to stir up members of the audience and ]

threaten the plaintiffs with threats that include violence, ]

]

Defendants. ]



COMPLAINT


Plaintiffs, Hoai Thanh and Dai Chung, Incorporated, allege as follows:


NATURE OF THE ACTION


  1. For years, and continuing to date, the individual defendants, working through the defendant purported non-profit organizations named above, also as defendants, as instrumentalities, have engaged in a conspiracy to mislead, deceive, and obtain money from the plaintiffs and other things of value, such as public relations from Vietnamese language media such as the plaintiff newspaper, by communicating to the individual plaintiff and others like him in the Vietnamese-speaking community in America, as listeners to the defendant Vietnamese Public Radio, Inc.’s broadcast system who are solicited to wire and mail money and property by U. S. mail or on line communications (all interstate) to the corporate defendants under false pretenses and a pattern of deception and misrepresentation over the wires and airwaves in interstate broadcasts. This is done through programs put on by the defendant Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam, Inc., and also participation in and the conducting of programs by the defendant Boat People S.O.S. Inc., programs over the defendant VPR’s system.

  1. The individual defendants and their organizations claim to be raising funds for charitable causes which benefit the victims of floods, disasters and repression in communist Viet Nam and that “almost all” of the funds that they have so raised go for such purposes. But in fact they have only devoted a small fraction of what they have raised to such purposes and divert the vast bulk of the funds that they thus solicit and raise to purposes other than those which they hold out.

  1. The individual defendants and their organizations commingle the funds and use them for their personal inurement and for their personal purposes and for harming those who are so bold as to question their use of funds. They do this harming also through programs over their radio system into many states and cities which encourage and threaten violence and harm to any who ask for accountability or even question the individual defendants’ and their organizations’ use of funds.

  1. Anyone who so questions the individual defendants’ and their organizations’ use of funds, particularly any persons such as the plaintiffs, who have, however small by comparison, any Vietnamese-language media presence, then becomes the target of further deceptions of the Vietnamese community and its members in which the individual defendants and their organizations purport to be using the courts to harm “communists,” which is what they label those who question them through worthy lawsuits which are in fact part of the deception and misrepresentations. In a continuing pattern which has lasted for years the individual defendants and their organizations solicit funds over the wires and airwaves in broadcasts to be mailed to them or wired to them through credit cards which funds they then transmit in interstate commerce for the purpose of putting on further programs, which include and encourage threats of violence against any who dare to even question the individual defendants and their organizations, the accuracy of their representations in the broadcasts and on their websites or that the motives of the individual defendants are anything other than what the defendants represent or that the individual defendants in any way obtain any inurement, even salaries, from the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they obtain from individuals such as the individual plaintiff in the Vietnamese community.

  1. In order to make the intended targets of these interstate wire campaigns to threaten violence seem worthy of this “law of the community” lynching held out as worthy of being above the American law, state and federal, the defendants engage in ruthless campaigns of misrepresentations about those who question them, such as the plaintiffs, in order to cast their intended targets in a “false light,” all funded by the defendants’ solicitation and obtaining of funds through wire and mail fraud campaigns in interstate commerce.

  1. As a further part of the campaigns funded by mail and wire fraud which they direct against those who question their use of the solicited and raised funds obtained through the use of these interstate wire programs, the defendants conduct systematic meritless law suits against those such as the plaintiffs who do so question their use of funds. In order to fund these law suits against their intended targets such as the plaintiffs, the defendants compound their use of mail and wire fraud in interstate commerce by misrepresenting the merit of the law suits over the interstate wire system in order to raise funds to fuel the meritless law suits which they direct. Defendant members of the associated-in-fact enterprise such as the defendant Nguyen Hong Thai, are lawyers and participants in the management of the associated-in-fact enterprise who conduct the meritless suits for the purpose, which defendants acknowledge in their interstate programs as part of their wire fraud, are intended to economically damage, harm and hurt those who dare to question the defendants’ use of funds without any regard for the merits of the suit. The intended targets, such as the plaintiffs, are then the object of on-air boasts by defendants such as defendant Thang Dinh Nguyen, that they will be “hurt” and destroyed for offending, in the opinions held out by the defendants, the “Vietnamese community.”

  1. These misrepresentations, these threats of violence, and this laundering of funds and transporting of goods illegally taken in interstate and even foreign commerce are planned and directed by the individual defendants Thang Dinh Nguyen, Hien Thi Ngo, and Hung Ngoc Ngo and the other individual defendants acting as an enterprise-in-fact which is directed by the three thus named and led particularly by Thang Dinh Nguyen, with the other participants in the structured and continuing enterprise in fact led by those three as they too participate in the pattern of racketeering activity as participants in the associated-in-fact enterprise.

  1. The defendants have known for years that their broadcast representations to the Vietnamese language public were misleading and deceitful and that they have been misusing and failing to account for the funds which they solicit and obtain through the United States mail or through electronic interstate communications, according to the admissions of the defendant Nguyen Hong Thai. Yet the defendants continue to enable and stir up threats of violence over the interstate wires and airwaves in broadcasts that they originate against the plaintiffs and any others who dare to question the misrepresentations of the defendants, question the defendants’ misuse of funds, and to ask for accountability from the defendants. They continue to launder funds and use and transport their funds illegally obtained through the mail and wire fraud as set out herein in interstate and foreign commerce for the stated purposes.

  1. Each year thousands of Vietnamese-speaking Americans like the individual plaintiff are bilked and deceived by the defendants through their fraud in the use of interstate wire, airwaves and mail out of a cumulatively large sum of money which the defendants then use for both their private inurement and invest in their enterprises to stir up and incite threats against those such as the plaintiffs who dare inquire about the defendants and their ways and their use of the funds they solicit from the Vietnamese community in America. Numbers of small Vietnamese-language media such as the plaintiff bi-weekly newspaper are similarly deceived and give support in their publishing as a result of these deceptions and misrepresentations. The defendants’ conspiracy and scheme continues and will continue and be ongoing indefinitely unless they are made to answer for their liability to the plaintiffs and others similarly situated in the Vietnamese community in the U.S.

  1. Plaintiffs seek both economic damages and injunctive relief for the conduct alleged in this complaint. Among other things plaintiffs seek temporary and then permanent injunctive relief against the stirring up of and enabling of threats of violence, the filing of the malicious and baseless law suits accompanied by threats (all of which the defendants lose), the use of the airwaves and wires in Interstate Commerce to misrepresent and deceive the Vietnamese-speaking public with false representations of charitable purposes, the use of the airwaves and wires to raise funds pursuant to deceit and misrepresentation for the purpose of bilking the individuals of the Vietnamese community such as the plaintiffs, the laundering of funds and the transporting of the funds illegally obtained in interstate and foreign commerce and for other such relief under pendant state counts.

THE PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff Hoai Thanh is a member of the Vietnamese-speaking community in the U.S.. He owns and operates and has owned and operated over the years auto and service station, car-wash and similar businesses, having been trained by U.S. oil companies in retail operations. He also owned and operated for a number of years the plaintiff Dai Chung Bi-Weekly Newspaper. He brings this action to obtain declaratory and equitable relief and restitution. He seeks to recover the property in the form of donations taken from him by the defendants through their fraud and deception and to recover for the damage done to him for years thereafter up until last Christmas by their campaign of threats and intimidation using the wires and mail in a fraudulent and deceptive manner and their attempts to prevent him from going into court and bearing witness against them as well as by their use of interstate and foreign commerce to fund their enterprise with money obtained by fraud and deceit to damage him and destroy his businesses, and for their fraud and deception against all like him and their similar campaigns against the readers of his newspaper who sought to inform and assist him in questioning the fraud and deceit of the defendants and for using their fraud, deceit and intimidation, including threats, to drive away his customers in his auto businesses and his readers, subscribers and advertisers of, in and for his newspaper.

  1. Plaintiff Dai Chung Incorporated is a corporation duly incorporated in the State of Maryland that did and does business as the Dai Chung Bi-weekly Newspaper. It also seeks declaratory and equitable relief and restitution for the harm done it by the defendants through their wire and mail fraud, threats, including threats of violence and the use by the defendants of interstate and foreign commerce to damage its business and circulation, drive away and steal its advertisers through fraud, deception and threats of violence and their systematic attempts to prevent it, like the individual plaintiff, from being able to access the courts, including federal courts such as this to obtain redress.

  1. Together, Hoai Thanh and Dai Chung Incorporated are referred to as “plaintiffs.”

  1. Defendant Thang Dinh Nguyen is the president and chairman of the defendant Boat People S.O.S., Inc. and his and its offices are in the Commonwealth of Virginia at 6066 Leesburg Pike, in the Tysons Corner area of Fairfax County with a Post Office Address of Falls Church, Virginia. He is also the principal architect and functions as the CEO or head of the association-in-fact enterprise comprised of himself and the defendants Hien Thi Ngo, Hung Ngoc Ngo as principals and chief operators with the other defendants as knowing and willful participants and lesser operators and participants. He is on the board also of the defendants Vietnamese Public Radio and Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam or functions de facto as a director in a situation where the board is not formally maintained or disclosed. With the two defendants next listed and alleged he organizes and controls the “command system” of the associated-in-fact enterprise, with its patterns of racketeering activity, some of which, as set out herein, affect the plaintiffs, and others of which, such as illegal immigration schemes and defrauding the government on contracts, do not affect the plaintiffs directly.

  1. Defendant Hien Thi Ngo is one of the top three operating people and managers of the associated-in-fact enterprise whose actions are complained of and is, or holds herself out as, the president and chairman of the defendant Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam, Incorporated. Her offices are at 8001 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda, Maryland, where she operates out of her home. She functions also as a board member or director of the defendant Vietnam Public Radio, Inc. in a situation where the selection of directors, if it exists, is not transparent and the corporations operate as non-stock operations where there are not formal rules or procedures. She is the sister of defendant Hung Ngoc Ngo and both work closely with defendant Thanh Dinh Nguyen in the operation of his enterprises as well.

  1. Defendant Hung Ngoc Ngo is one of the top three operating people and managers of the associated-in-fact enterprise whose actions are complained of and is the president and chairman of Vietnamese Public Radio, Inc. His offices are at 2304 Westmoreland Avenue, Falls Church, Virginia. He also functions as a director of defendant Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam, Inc.

  1. Defendant Nguyen Hong Thai operates and participates in the associated-in-fact enterprise of the defendants to assure that the campaigns of intimidation and violence that are designed to prevent those such as the plaintiffs from questioning and exposing the fraud and deceit practiced upon them through interstate and foreign wire and mail by taking away their property through baseless law suits which he directs and participates in that are used to deprive those such as the plaintiffs of the resources to combat the campaigns of intimidation which include threats of violence. He is a director of defendant Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam or functions as such de facto, as he does of the associated-in-fact enterprise of the defendants.

  2. Defendant Tran Nghi Hoang joined and became an operator and participant in the association-in-fact enterprise when it was formed to carry out a campaign of intimidation with threats of violence in interstate and foreign commerce by using his newspaper, the Le Phai (Vietnamese which translates to English: “The Right”) weekly newspaper, of which he is the owner and operator, to publish articles and letters designed to cast the plaintiffs in a “false light” and by doing so to stir up violence against the plaintiffs which articles and/or letters then, under the direction of the heads of the association-in-fact enterprise, would be read on the programs of the defendant Vietnamese Public Radio, Inc., to target the plaintiffs and to inflame the desire on the part of the Vietnamese language listeners and readers to harm the plaintiffs in 22 states and the District of Columbia in order to threaten the plaintiffs and others like them. He has continually used his newspaper to echo the campaign of the defendants to defame the plaintiffs and cast them in a false light before the public and will continue to do so unless stopped by this action or other legal action.

  1. Defendant Le Phai, Inc., is a duly incorporated and registered Virginia corporation that, under the ownership and control of the defendant Tran Nghi Hoang, owns and publishes the Le Phai weekly newspaper. It participates actively in the pattern of racketeering activity and other torts alleged herein under the direction of the said defendant who in turn reports and is directed by, in matters of the associated-in-fact enterprise complained of, to the defendants Thang Dinh Nguyen, Hung Ngoc Ngo and Hien Thi Ngo.

  1. Defendant Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam Inc. (“CRFV”) is a corporation duly incorporated in Maryland but presently not in good standing for failure to file a required annual form. It is both a defendant in its own right herein and an instrumentality used by the associated-in-fact enterprise complained of to further its pattern of racketeering activity in interstate and foreign commerce. The defendant Hien Thi Ngo is the president and chairman of the board of CRFV to the extent that can be determined in non-transparent non-stock corporation. The defendants Hung Ngoc Ngo, Thai H. Nguyen and Thang Dinh Nguyen are on its Board of Directors and/or are held out to the public as so being on its Board of Directors and/or are directors of CRFV’s affairs de facto. This organization was not founded by the defendants, but rather by one Reverend Nguyen Huu Le, a minister and monk. He and other religious monks participated in CFRV at its outset, but then the defendants Thanh Dinh Nguyen and Hien Thi Ngo took it over as part of the defendants’ pattern of racketeering activity, in order to use the funds as they wished for their private inurement. When Reverend Le began to question the use funds, the defendants caused him to have to leave. He continued his activities on behalf of religious freedom in Vietnam from Tampa, Florida with a new organization, the International Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam, whereupon the defendants, lest there be real help for the cause of religious freedom in Vietnam, rather than their ersatz control of the issue, sued the Reverend Le and launched a campaign of intimidation against him.

  1. Defendant Boat People S.O.S., Inc. (Boat People) is a corporation incorporated in Virginia. It is both a defendant in its own right herein and an instrumentality used by the associated-in-fact enterprise complained of to further its pattern of racketeering activity in interstate and foreign commerce. Defendant Thang Dinh Nguyen is the Chairman of the Board and President of this corporate defendant as it is held out to the public and so far as it can be determined.

  1. Defendant Vietnamese Public Radio, Inc. (VPR) is a corporation incorporated in Virginia. It is both a defendant in its own right herein and an instrumentality used by the associated-in-fact enterprise complained of to further its pattern of racketeering activity in interstate and foreign commerce. Defendant Hung Ngoc Ngo is the President and Chairman of this corporate defendant. His sister, the defendant Hien Thi Ngo, and the defendant Thanh Dinh Nguyen participate heavily in the operation and planning of VPR’s activities and function as its directors, along with others, such as defendant Nguyen Hong Thai. VPR is the primary instrumentality of the associated-in-fact enterprise whereby the defendants commit wire and mail fraud, incite and enable interstate threats, including threats of violence, use the funds illegally derived from their racketeering activity to engage in further illegal activity and predicate acts to harm those such as the plaintiffs who dare to question the defendants’ use of the funds that they solicit and to launder funds and otherwise commit illegal acts.

  1. Defendant John Doe #1 is the individual, real name not presently known to plaintiffs, who, under the pen name Le Minh Ngoc, wrote a letter to defendant Le Phai newspaper dated May 25, 2002 (or so defendants claim) as part of a planned predicate act in which the letter was then used as the basis for a broadcast on defendant VPR to attack and threaten the plaintiffs, whic letter was then reused repeatedly in programs, week after week. For example, on September 2, 2004, it was used in a broadcast again with different call-ins and embellishments. And this repeated on or about December 23, 2004. This particular letter, ostensibly of May 25, 2002, was first sent to plaintiffs, who invited the writer to talk the matter over or meet with them, but the writer did not respond to the plaintiffs’ invitation and refused to meet with the individual plaintiff. The letter was merely a pretext for the defendants to then use in their fundraising wire and mail fraud with the plaintiffs as target, for their threats in interstate commerce against the plaintiffs as a target and their use of their funds illegally gained to “hurt” and target the plaintiffs.

  1. Defendant John Doe #2 is the individual, real name presently unknown to the plaintiffs, who, under the pen name Le Tam, writes and publishes articles, as part of the plan of the defendants, on the website internet yahoo/thaoluan that attack and stir up threats against the defendants, defame them and cast them in a false light before the Vietnamese-language audience and public, which articles are then broadcast on VPR as part of the pattern of racketeering activity of the defendants.

  1. John Doe defendants numbers 3 through 7, under the pen names Huy Duc, Hoang Lan, Le Thi, Thanh Tin, and Hong Hanh, are participants and operators in the associated-in-fact enterprise complained of. They are the announcers and hosts on the broadcasts of defendant Vietnamese Public Radio who encourage and incite listeners and callers in to participate in intimidation of and threats of violence against the plaintiffs and work with the other defendants as voices and/or guests on the broadcasts to many states and the District of Columbia to that end.

  1. Defendants Huy Duc, Hoang Anh, Le Thi, Thanh Tin, and Hong Hanh, are principals and operators in the pattern of racketeering and conspiracy complained of as hosts and announcers on VPR programs attacking the plaintiffs who participate in the inciting of threats of violence that are then acted upon against those who question the fraud complained of.

  1. Together these defendants are referred to collectively as “defendants.”

  1. As used in this complaint, the term “defendant” includes all predecessor and successor entities to the named defendants.

  1. Each defendant corporation is sued individually as a primary violator and as an instrumentality participating and operating in the racketeering activities of the associated-in-fact enterprise of the individual defendants. In so acting and operating as a primary violator and in the racketeering activities of the associated-in-fact enterprise of the individual defendants each defendant acted with an awareness of the fraud and the threats of violence against the plaintiffs and the other wrongful conduct complained of. Each defendant nonetheless rendered substantial participation in carrying out the operation of the fraud, threats of violence and other wrongful conduct and was aware of its overall contribution to the conspiracy, scheme, and common course of wrongful conduct alleged in this complaint, namely the deceit and misrepresentation in soliciting funds and other things of value from the plaintiffs and others similarly situated among the American Vietnamese community, the threats of violence against the plaintiffs, the illegal use of illegally gained funds to harm the plaintiffs through the instrumentalities of interstate and foreign commerce and the operation and maintenance of their associated-in-fact enterprise to harm the plaintiffs and others similarly situated.

  1. Each individual defendant is sued individually as a primary participating and operating in the racketeering activities of the associated-in-fact enterprise of the individual defendants. In so acting and operating as a primary violator and in the racketeering activities of the associated-in-fact enterprise of the individual defendants each defendant acted with an awareness of the fraud and the threats of violence against the plaintiffs and the other wrongful conduct complained of. Each defendant nonetheless rendered substantial participation in carrying out the operation of the fraud, threats of violence and other wrongful conduct and was aware of its overall contribution to the conspiracy, scheme, and common course of wrongful conduct alleged in this complaint, namely the deceit and misrepresentation in soliciting funds and other things of value from the plaintiffs and others similarly situated among the American Vietnamese community, the threats of violence against the plaintiffs, the illegal use of illegally gained funds to harm the plaintiffs through the instrumentalities of interstate and foreign commerce and the operation and maintenance of their associated-in-fact enterprise to harm the plaintiffs and others similarly situated.

  1. Each individual defendant is sued as a co-conspirator. The liability of each individual arises from the fact that each entered into an agreement with the other individual defendants and third parties to pursue, and knowingly pursue, the common course of conduct to commit and participate in the commission of all or part of the unlawful acts, plans, schemes, transactions and artifices to defraud and to intimidate, including the use of violence and threats of violence, the laundering and use of funds alleged in this complaint.

  1. Defendants did and continue to commit their acts of racketeering against the plaintiffs and the other members of the Vietnamese language community in America and defraud and threaten violence and launder funds in the stream of commerce and pose a continuing threat that they will continue into the indefinite future unless stopped by legal actions such as this. They have performed such acts as were intended to and did defraud, misuse interstate commerce, stir up and promote violence and threats of violence and improperly and illegally launder funds. They have continually caused tortious injury to the plaintiffs and others similarly situated in a pattern interwoven with such actionable predicate acts.


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