In The united states district court for The district of maryland



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COUNT VII: MALICIOUS PROSECUTION




  1. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint.

  1. For six and one half years the plaintiff Hoai Thanh has operated the plaintiff Dai Chung Biweekly Newspaper at the above address, and also in Virginia.

  1. The plaintiff Dai Chung Biweekly Newspaper has during its time of operation circulated and had readership in the entire Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

  1. Also at the above address in Maryland for the Dai Chung Biweekly Newspaper, the plaintiff Hoai Thanh operated an auto body shop, Duramax Auto Body, Incorporated, doing business as Duramax Auto Service Center.

  1. On August 30, 2001, the four above-named defendants, VIETNAMESE PUBLIC RADIO, INC., COMMITTEE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN VIETNAM, INC., HUNG NGOC GO, and HIEN THI NGO, filed and commenced a civil action against the plaintiffs Hoai Thanh and Dai Chung Biweekly Newspaper a civil action and also against the pen name of the plaintiff Hoai Thanh that he used to write columns in the Dai Chung Biweekly Newspaper, “Van Nam,” in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. It was assigned the civil number 224653v.

  1. This suit was for defamation in four counts (I, III, V, VII) and intentional interference with “prosective” [sic] advantage in four counts (II, IV, VI, VI).

  1. The defendant THAI H. NGUYEN, ESQUIRE was the attorney who filed the suit in question and was counsel of record throughout its prosecution until it ultimately failed for lack of merit.

  1. The defendant THAI H. NGUYEN, ESQUIRE was also an officer and director of the defendant Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam, Incorporated (CRFV) at all times pertinent hereto.

  1. The suit sought $25,000.00 in compensatory damages and $300,000.00 in punitive damages on each of the eight counts.

  1. Plaintiffs were served with the complaint, answered, and the action was joined.

  1. The mentioned action was commenced and prosecuted by the defendants to this suit maliciously and without probable cause in that the defendants knew, with regard to their counts and allegations as to interference with prosective [sic] advantage, that there was no such “prosective” or prospective advantage that the defendants had or possessed, much less any with which the plaintiffs, or any of them, had interfered.

  1. The mentioned action was commenced and prosecuted by the defendants to this suit maliciously and without probable cause in that the defendants knew, with regard to their counts and allegations as to defamation, that they alleged that the plaintiffs had stated through the plaintiff biweekly newspaper that the defendants had engaged in “embezzling” funds when, in fact, no such statements had ever been made in the plaintiff publication.

  1. In fact, the opposite was true, as the defendants herein well knew.

  1. The defendants conspired and concerted together to launch the meritless law suit in question for the purpose of interfering with and damaging the business advantages and business of the plaintiffs.

  1. They did this for the purpose of launching their own newspaper to rival the plaintiff newspaper, take away its advertisers and business and prevent the individual plaintiff from continuing in the newspaper business once they had interfered with and damaged the business of the plaintiffs.

  1. They did this through the defendant attorney, who was not paid very much for his efforts, but functioned as a participant in the associated-in-fact enterprise in order that they might financially drain the plaintiffs so as to destroy the business advantages and prospects and business of the plaintiffs, because they knew that the plaintiffs would have to hire expensive representation and be tied up in the law suit with time and resources even though the defendants knew full well that their law suit had no sound basis in fact and no legal merit.

  1. The mentioned action was commenced and prosecuted by the defendants maliciously and without probable cause in that the defendants knew, with regard to their counts and allegations as to defamation, that the plaintiffs herein had only questioned what the defendants had done with funds that the defendants raised through radio shows.

  1. The defendants filed the lawsuit complained of in order to stop the plaintiffs from questioning and looking into the defendants’ fundraising activities in connection with solicitations for funds that defendants claimed were to be used to give relief to flood victims in Vietnam because they knew that the plaintiffs’ exercise of free speech in this regard would help the plaintiffs’ business advantage and correspondingly diminish their own.

  1. These solicitations were published on a radio system to the public in 22 states.

  1. The defendants knew that the plaintiff newspaper was smaller and had no radio outlet that worked with it.

  1. So the defendants launched a campaign of, among other things, accusing the defendants of charging them with “embezzlement” and interfering with the defendants’ opportunities, even as the defendants set out to use their law suit to interfere with the business of the plaintiff newspaper and supplant it with a newspaper controlled by the defendants.

  1. The defendants well knew that to question what happened with funds raised by the defendants’ publishing activities and to ask for accountability to the public of the the Vietnamese-American communities in 22 states was not the same as accusing the defendants of “embezzlement,” but, nonetheless, the defendants pursued their baseless lawsuit against the plaintiffs, even raising funds through the radio publishing activities of the defendants for the purported purpose of funding the meritless lawsuit against the plaintiffs.

  1. The defendants knew, and are charged with knowing, that such questions as the plaintiffs raised were legitimately raised under the First Amendment protections of Freedom of the press and speech.

  1. The mentioned action was commenced and prosecuted by the defendants cynically and maliciously for the purpose of destroying the plaintiff biweekly newspaper’s business and the other businesses and livelihood of the plaintiff Hoai Thanh by exhausting his resources in causing him to have to spend over $150,000.00 in counsel fees while the defendant attorney received a mere $500.00 or so, according to statements made by the attorney defendant.

  1. The defendants compounded this reckless and wanton malice by using their radio broadcasting to destroy the plaintiff Hoai Thanh’s businesses and business reputation, broadcasting continually and incessantly attacks on his character and business reputation and capability in which they continually defamed and slandered him and the plaintiff Newspaper by direct calumny and attack as well as constantly encouraging callers in to the radio shows to slander, defame and even physically threaten the plaintiff Hoai Thanh with bodily harm, including murder, and his biweekly newspaper with physical destruction of its property and facilities.

  1. In a further show of wanton and reckless malice in their filing of and prosecution of the law suit complained of, the defendants started their own Vietnamese language newspaper to compete directly with and supplant the plaintiff biweekly newspaper in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area by use of the device of the frivolous and meritless law suit complained of.

  1. By reason of defendants’ actions complained of, plaintiffs suffered injury to their business, business reputation, credit, plaintiff Hoai Thanh’s personal credit, business reputation, mental state, emotional state, health, family relationships, economic loss and pain and suffering in the amount of $3,000,000.00.

  1. By reason of defendants’ actions complained of plaintiffs incurred reasonable legal fees and expenses to defend and defeat the frivolous lawsuit in the amount of $150,000.00.

  1. Because the defendants initiated and conducted the malicious prosecution complained of recklessly, wantonly, and with malice and a total disregard for the rights of the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs are, therefore, entitled to exemplary and punitive damages in the amount of $9,000,000.00.

  1. The defendants launched not just one such law suits, but a series of them, additional numbers of such suits in Montgomery County being ccivil numbers 242835 V and 240210 V. All of these lawsuits have been essentially the same, and all equally baseless. None have been won and all have been either dismissed and/or lost on the merits within the last three years.

  1. The defendants have launched many other such baseless lawsuits against other victims who dare to question their use of funds. In the action in the Montgomery County Circuit Court mentioned in 147 above, number 242835 V, the four named defendants herein sued, in addition to the plaintiffs in this case, the following:

  1. Khai Tan Le of Olney, MD

  1. Tang Huu Nghia of Tigard OR

  1. Tam Minh Ngo of Salem OR

  1. Dong Phuong News, Inc. of Seattle WA

  1. Saigon Radio Broadcasting System, Inc. of Seatlle WA

  1. Quoc Nam of Seatlle WA

  1. Chinh Nghia News, Inc. of Chamblee GA

  1. Son sVan Ha of Chamblee GA

  1. Kim Au of Chamblee GA

  1. All of these parties, like the plaintiffs herein, dared to question the use of funds by the defendants herein that they raised in the defendant VPR’s programs after initially being deceived by the present defendants and supporting their efforts through their own Vietnamese language local media.

  1. This activity of malicious prosecution with baseless law suits is part of a pre-planned concerted effort that is part of the pattern of racketeering activity engaged in by the defendants.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs pray in this count for over $150,000.00 in actual and compensatory damages in legal fees and costs, an additional $300,000.00 for emotional distress, pain and suffering, an additional $500,000.00 for damages to their businesses and business reputations from the “hurt” caused by the lawsuits combined with the broadcasts, and $9,000,000,000.00 in punitive damages.
COUNT VIII: CONSPIRACY TO MALICIOUSLY PROSECUTE

  1. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint.

  1. The individual defendants, and all of them, conspired together as set out in the previous counts in order to perpetrate the tort of malicious prosecution to “hurt” the plaintiffs and destroy the plaintiff Hoai Thanh’s business, livelihood and life, his standing in the community, his ability to socialize and to torment and cause emotional suffering and harm to him, his wife, and his family and to destroy the plaintiff newspaper as a competitor in the Vietnamese language media market.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs pray in this count for over $150,000.00 in actual and compensatory damages in legal fees and costs, an additional $300,000.00 for emotional distress, pain and suffering, an additional $500,000.00 for damages to their businesses and business reputations from the “hurt” caused by the lawsuits combined with the broadcasts, and $9,000,000,000.00 in punitive damages.
PLAINTIFFS DEMAND A TRIAL BY JURY ON ALL ISSUES SO TRIABLE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES.
Respectfully submitted,
______________________________

Laurence A. Elgin USDC-MD # 13609

Suite 900 South Building

601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004-3615

(202) 628-1114

(202) 628-6798 - fax

lawnet@earthlink.net

VERIFICATION UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY


I, Hoai Thanh, individually and as the President and owner of Dai Chung News Media Incorporated, hereby swear and affirm under penalty of perjury this 21st day of December, 2005, that the foregoing complaint, and all it’s allegations, are known by me to personally be true to the extent that they can be known and to the extent that they cannot be so known they are based upon my best information and belief.

____________________________



Hoai Thanh




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