Accountant sentenced to prison for ripping off Orange County developer

Duy Doc Nguyen embezzled $1.8M over a three-year span, authorities said

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Jun.June 29, 2020 05:47 PM
Claus Dieckell and Milan Capital Management's Anaheim office (Google Maps)
Claus Dieckell and Milan Capital Management’s Anaheim office (Google Maps)

A judge sentenced a former accountant at Orange County commercial real estate developer Milan Capital to two-and-a-half years in prison Monday after the employee was convicted of embezzling $1.8 million from company coffers.

Judge James Selna also ordered the worker, Duy Duc Nguyen, a 38-year-old Garden Grove resident, to return the $1.8 million he owed to the developer.

Milan Capital has a portfolio of eight office buildings, and 18 retail properties throughout Southern California, according to its website, and the company is helmed by Claus Dieckell. Messages left with the company Monday were not returned.

Nguyen was employed as an accounts payable clerk at the developer’s Anaheim headquarters from 2014 to 2017, according to a U.S. Attorney’s office press release.

Per the release, Nguyen “stole the password” of the company’s treasurer and then altered vendor payments in the company’s accounting system so as to redirect money to Nguyen’s personal bank accounts.

Nguyen continued stealing even after Milan Capital fired him in December 2017, and did not stop until March 2018, per the release.

During this three-month window, the accountant “unlawfully gained entry into Milan Capital’s office by using an improperly retained key” and by “misusing one or more passwords to gain access to the company’s accounting system.”

Milan Capital’s business is contained to Southern California, and the developer has completed significant acquisitions in the region of late, including a $26 million purchase of a Long Beach office building in 2017, and a $13.6 million office buy in La Mirada last year.


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