Detectives Thursday sought additional possible victims of a man accused of cheating victims from Garden Grove out of more than $3 million in an affinity fraud and Ponzi scam.
Lo Van Tran, 42, of Fremont, allegedly collected the money from more than 10 investors, most of them Vietnamese, between June 2017 and February 2018, according to Garden Grove Police Lt. Carl Whitney.
He allegedly promised a predetermined return based on the amount invested in his scheme, which involved a company he owned and operated called SmartBuy Outlet Inc., which had two storefronts in Garden Grove, Whitney said.
“The business also operated under the name SavMax Solutions Inc.,” according to the lieutenant. “As a side business related to SmartBuy Outlet Inc., Tran claimed to have a partnership with a third-party logistics company known as Zyp Corporation, where he would facilitate the purchase and sales of large amounts of Apple products.”
Turns out Zyp Corporation never existed, Whitney said.
“He also fabricated bank and business documents to make his business appear legitimate,” Whitney said.
Affinity fraud involves preying upon victims from the same identifiable groups, “such as minorities and professional groups,” Whitney explained.
A Ponzi scheme involves using money for one’s own benefit and to pay earlier investors as new money is taken in, he said.
Investigators believe there may be additional victims and urged anyone who thinks they might have been taken in by Tran to call Detective Thi Huynh at 714-741-5835.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: